dictionaries and coinage

Geoffrey Nunberg nunberg at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Sun Jun 8 20:00:52 UTC 2003

One word that is almost certainly a dictionary coining is
"anglicity." Murray used it in the General Explanation to the OED:

". . .the English vocabulary contains a nucleus or central mass of
many thousand words whose ŒAnglicity¹ is unquestioned; some of then
only literary, some of them only colloquial, the great majority at
once literary and colloquial - they are the common words of the
language. "

The shudder quotes suggest a certain diffidence about the status of
the item, and while the word is given an entry in the OED itself,
defined as "English quality, as of speech or style; English idiom,"
it is labeled as "rare" and no citations at all are provided. Dollars
to donuts this was Murray's little joke.

Geoff Nunberg

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