"spend a penny" -- the TLS is at it again.

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Fri Sep 23 18:11:01 UTC 2011

At 9/23/2011 01:17 PM, George Thompson wrote:
>I checked the OED last night: as I recall, its earliest cite was 1965;

1945    H. Lewis Strange Story iv. 27   'Us girls,' she said, 'are
going to spend a penny!'

>If I recall, the previous format of the OED was up-front about what section
>of the alphabet had most recently been revised.  The current format lists an
>array of words beginning with A, and on and on.  Surely the project to
>revise systematically hasn't been abandoned?  Has it reached "penny" yet?

Yes; "penny" is Sept. 2005.  The (on-line) OED gives the date of each
entry at the top right.  But I too can't find information about where
in the alphabet the systematic revision is.  That used to be
announced in the quarterly bulletins.


>You all will recall that at the beginning of the year, TLS allowed its
>correspondents to spend two months pointlessly kicking about the history of
>the word "cool" in slang.  This may be the start of another such spell.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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