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The Mysterious Case of the Vanishing Tramlines: James Murray's Legacy and the 1933 OED Supplement

The Mysterious Case of the Vanishing Tramlines: James Murray's Legacy and the 1933 OED Supplement Trinity College, Oxford Acareful inspection of the pages of the 1933 Oxford English Dictionary Supplement (1933 Supplement) reveals something strange: there are no tramlines. These are two small, parallel lines -- 1 1 -- that OED editors put beside headwords considered to be "alien or not yet naturalized" (Murray 1888, xxvi). The use of tramlines to denote a word's loan status was a practice devised byJames Murray in the 1880s and used thereafter in the first edition of the OED (1884-1928), the four-volume Supplement to the OED (1972-1986) by Robert Burchfield, and the second edition of the OED (1989).2 James Murray and his fellow editors considered tramlines so important that they counted the total number per volume, and pub- 1I am indebted to the AHRC and the Wingate Foundation for funding to pursue this research; to Lynda Mugglestone, David Cram, Jane Shaw, Bill Frawley, Aditi Lahiri, Peter Gilliver, and two anonymous reviewers for feedback on earlier drafts of this paper; to Antoinette Rossi for assistance with the original research; to Martin Maw and Beverley Hunt of the OUP archives, and to the Secretary of the Delegates of Oxford University Press for permission to publish archival documents. ^Tramlines have http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Dictionaries: Journal of the Dictionary Society of North America Dictionary Society of North America

The Mysterious Case of the Vanishing Tramlines: James Murray's Legacy and the 1933 OED Supplement

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Publisher
Dictionary Society of North America
Copyright
Copyright © The Dictionary Society of North America
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2160-5076
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Abstract

Trinity College, Oxford Acareful inspection of the pages of the 1933 Oxford English Dictionary Supplement (1933 Supplement) reveals something strange: there are no tramlines. These are two small, parallel lines -- 1 1 -- that OED editors put beside headwords considered to be "alien or not yet naturalized" (Murray 1888, xxvi). The use of tramlines to denote a word's loan status was a practice devised byJames Murray in the 1880s and used thereafter in the first edition of the OED (1884-1928), the four-volume Supplement to the OED (1972-1986) by Robert Burchfield, and the second edition of the OED (1989).2 James Murray and his fellow editors considered tramlines so important that they counted the total number per volume, and pub- 1I am indebted to the AHRC and the Wingate Foundation for funding to pursue this research; to Lynda Mugglestone, David Cram, Jane Shaw, Bill Frawley, Aditi Lahiri, Peter Gilliver, and two anonymous reviewers for feedback on earlier drafts of this paper; to Antoinette Rossi for assistance with the original research; to Martin Maw and Beverley Hunt of the OUP archives, and to the Secretary of the Delegates of Oxford University Press for permission to publish archival documents. ^Tramlines have

Journal

Dictionaries: Journal of the Dictionary Society of North AmericaDictionary Society of North America

Published: Apr 4, 2008

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