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NINETEENTH CENTURY REACTIONS TO THE O. E. D.: AN ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY Leslie Bivens The following bibliography lists in chronological order some of the periodical commentary on the plans and early fascicles of the New English Dictionary that appeared from 1859 trough 1900. Though the reactions to the dictionary of the Philological Society were mainly favorable, it is evident that the classic prescriptivist-descriptivist battles raged. Other items of interest include J. P. Owen's defense of Cambridge and not Oxford as the birth place of the term cram and Walter W. Skeat's two poems dedicated to J. A. H. Murray. This bibliography is not exhaustive, but I hoped that the varied reactions to the work eventually re-titled as the Oxford Engltih Dictionary will be of value and interest to those in the field of lexicography. "Dr. Trench on English Dictionaries." Edinburgh Review, April 1859, pp. 365-86. The reviewer responds to R. C. Trench's On Some Deficiencies in Our English Dictionaries and to the Proposalfor the Publication ofa New English Dictionary of the Philological Society. The article agrees with Trench's contention that there is a need for an English dictionary but disagrees with the Philological Society's descriptivist approach as contained in the Proposal. The article concludes with the author 's doubts about the feasibility of the Philological Society completing its project. "Three Great Dictionaries." Temple Bar, February 1882, pp. 238-49. This article is a historical overview of the compilation methods of Johnson, Littré, and Murray. "Dictionary Making." Leisure Hour, 32 (1883), 362-66. This article is the result of the reviewer's visit to Murray's Scriptorium. He gives a short history of the Philological Society's project and includes sample entries from A-Age. "The New English Dictionary." The Saturday Review, 16 February 1884, pp. 226-27. Written on the occasion of the issuance of Part I (?-Ant), the reviewer summarizes the intent of the New English Dictionary and compares it with the output of some of its predecessors. "A New English Dictionary." The Spectator, 16 February 1884, pp. 221-22. Although a generally positive review, the author questions the inclusion of nonce terms and scientific terms. Wells, W. H. "The Philological Society's New English Dictionary." The Dial, April 1884, pp. 301-04. Wells, writing on the occasion of publication of Part I (A-Ant), sketches the history of the New English Dictionary, includes a short biography of James A. H. Murray, and describes the dictionary's format. After listing some corrections which he feels need to be made, Wells ranks Murray fourth in the line of great lexicographers (after Bailey, Johnson, and Webster). 146 Leslie Bivens147 "The New English Dictionary." The Nation, 17 April 1884, pp. 347-48. This article is less a critique than a listing of the features of the New English Dictionary; the author gives a favorable review of Part I (A-Ani). "The New English Dictionary." The Nation, 24 April 1884, pp. 367-68. Reviewing Part I (A-Ant), the author criticizes Murray for inclusion of illustrative quotations from authors "of an inferior grade." He concludes by citing specific omissions and criticizing the definitions of Americanisms as inaccurate. Smith, L. Toulmin. "The New English Dictionary." The Bibliographer, 6 (June-November 1884), 1-4. Reviewing Part I (A-Ani), Smith characterizes the New English Dictionary as "scientific ." The article describes items of interest to bibliographers mentioning authors cited and the method of gathering citations. Smith ends his article with a few etymologies from the dictionary. "The New English Dictionary (Second Notice)." The Saturday Review, 26 April 1884, pp. 547-48. After giving a sampling of entries from Part I (?-Ant), the author questions the lack of authority of some of the sources used in the illustrative quotations. Lovett, Richard. "Dictionary-Making, Past and Present." Littell's Living Age, 19 July 1884, pp. 145-55. Lovett begins his article with an overview of the history of lexicography. He argues that there is a need for Murray's dictionary and places the New English Dictionary in a centuries-long series of works. "The New English Dictionary—Part II." The Saturday Review, 30 January 1886, pp. 168-69. This brief article...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2160-5076
Print ISSN
0197-6745
Pages
pp. 146-152
Launched on MUSE
2012-04-04
Open Access
No
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