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The Whole World in a BookDictionaries in the Nineteenth Century$
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Sarah Ogilvie and Gabriella Safran

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780190913199

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190913199.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 01 December 2021

A Nineteenth-Century Garment Throughout

A Nineteenth-Century Garment Throughout

Description, Collaboration, and Thorough Coverage in the Oxford English Dictionary (1884–1928)

(p.54) 4 A Nineteenth-Century Garment Throughout
The Whole World in a Book

Sarah Ogilvie

Oxford University Press

Ogilvie discusses how the OED represents a key development in ‘modern’ lexicography based on how it was envisioned, compiled, and executed. The chapter provides background on the state of philology throughout the seventy-year process of compiling the OED, and documents the roles played by some of the primary figures who influenced and shaped the dictionary’s development. The central features characterizing the OED’s production, Ogilvie argues, were the editors’ application of historical principles to each entry; the favouring of descriptive over prescriptive methods; the attempt to provide thorough coverage of the English lexicon; and the use of collaborative compilation practices. Ogilvie also places the OED into the context of comparative philology and lexicography, and considers the intersection of nationalism, national identity, and the codification of the English language.

Keywords:   OED, philology, historical principles, descriptive, prescriptive, nationalism, lexicography, Oxford English Dictionary

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