RICHARD A. SPEARS tionaries of this genre was used to reveal lines of earlier descent similar to what Burchfield found for standard dictionaries. Many dictionaries are at least partial revisions of previous dictionaries. When a modern dictionary of standard English is based on some other work--a previous edition, or the legally obtained rights to some other didionary--the debt is usually acknowledged in the front matter. There are lapses in this practice, of course. Robert Burchfield demonstrates »that editors of dictionaries of standard English do not always reveal their heavy dependence on previous dictionaries, and he cites a number of interesting lines of descent in such dictionaries. He concludes his essay by suggesting that computers may serve further to establish lineages. In this paper I will be talking about a general and more blatant pradice in dictionaries of nonstandard English--specifically drug argot collections-- where the work of previous authors is simply copied into a new dictionary or glossary with no acknowledgment of the earlier sources--a kind of "revision without permission." A computer examination of word lists from glossaries and dic- In the preparation of The Slang and Jargon of Drugs and Drink, I constructed a simple computer database to
Dictionaries: Journal of the Dictionary Society of North America – Dictionary Society of North America
Published: Apr 4, 1987
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