Query re the non-divinity of lexicographers

Rudolph C Troike rtroike at U.ARIZONA.EDU
Sun May 20 06:01:57 UTC 2001

Dear Friends of Lexicography:

        While many of you who regularly contribute to the ADS list are
admirably and modestly aware of the human frailties of those who labor in
this vineyard, we are also aware of the popular tendency to deify
lexicographers, Webster's having sat beside the Bible on many a frontier
shelf as the only two books in the household.
        A linguistically savvy friend of mine tried convincing a judge
recently of the possible human failings of published dictionaries, and was
met with visceral rejection. His concern arises from the observation that
dictionaries are the primary source of linguistic wisdom among the
judiciary (as if lexicographers didn't have enough weight on their
shoulders!). He would like to be pointed to some good sources that might
be useful in getting across the point that dictionaries are human products
and might (sorry!) at times not attain the perfection that the judiciary



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