Why It Isn't There: Practical Constraints on the Recording of Neologisms

Why It Isn't There: Practical Constraints on the Recording of Neologisms Why It Isn't There: Practical Constraints on the Recording of Neologisms Michael Agnes v^ommercial lexicographers, especially those responsible for compiling college dictionaries, are accustomed to receiving irate letters from concerned readers on the topic of "missing words." The level of outrage induced when a reader does not find a favorite word between the covers is often difficult to credit--matched only by that somehow more understandable ire occasioned by the finding of a vulgarism or disputed usage enshrined without sufficient sanction. Some of the false assumptions such readers hold as to how new words find their way into the pages of the latest revision of a 1 ,600-page dictionary may be shared even by those much closer to the business of commercial lexicography. Hence this contribution to the forum. The processes leading to the addition of a new entry are well documented: the house reading program collects citations, the citations are evaluated to identify prospective new entries, new entries are drafted and refined, and at some point the lemma paragraph is set in type and appears on a printed page. What has not been well described are the constraints of commercial lexicography that delay, prevent, or otherwise impede the http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Dictionaries: Journal of the Dictionary Society of North America Dictionary Society of North America

Why It Isn't There: Practical Constraints on the Recording of Neologisms

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

Why It Isn't There: Practical Constraints on the Recording of Neologisms Michael Agnes v^ommercial lexicographers, especially those responsible for compiling college dictionaries, are accustomed to receiving irate letters from concerned readers on the topic of "missing words." The level of outrage induced when a reader does not find a favorite word between the covers is often difficult to credit--matched only by that somehow more understandable ire occasioned by the finding of a vulgarism or disputed usage enshrined without sufficient sanction. Some of the false assumptions such readers hold as to how new words find their way into the pages of the latest revision of a 1 ,600-page dictionary may be shared even by those much closer to the business of commercial lexicography. Hence this contribution to the forum. The processes leading to the addition of a new entry are well documented: the house reading program collects citations, the citations are evaluated to identify prospective new entries, new entries are drafted and refined, and at some point the lemma paragraph is set in type and appears on a printed page. What has not been well described are the constraints of commercial lexicography that delay, prevent, or otherwise impede the

Journal

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

Published: Apr 4, 1995

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