British bias in the OED

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Dec 18 20:27:43 UTC 2012

On Dec 18, 2012, at 2:43 PM, Joel S. Berson wrote:

> At 12/18/2012 08:50 AM, Amy West wrote:
>> On 12/18/12 12:00 AM, Automatic digest processor wrote:
>>> The question of whether to include team names in general in dictionaries
>>> is different. This extends beyond college teams: Ron Butters has
>>> presented various papers arguing that entries like_Giant_  'a member of
>>> the New York Giants football team' should be entered into general
>>> dictionaries. But few dictionaries do.
>> I would resist that because it a) it's in that tricky "Proper Noun"
>> territory and b) should be self-explanatory given the context. And I say
>> this as a sports ignoramous. Even *I* can tell the difference . . .
>> Similarly, as for the original question re: the color sense, again, as a
>> reader/listener it may take me a little while to work out from the
>> context that the color is being used to identify the school/team, but I
>> should be able to. It's when it becomes much more opaque that there
>> would be need for an entry. But at that point are you going to list
>> every school that uses that color? I don't think so.
>> ---Amy West
> To maintain a level Atlantic, the equitable thing to do would be to
> remove sense 9 from "blue, n.".  After all, if there are about
> 4,900,000 Google hits for "light blue" + Columbia, and for the
> slightly older Yale about 31,400,000 for "dark blue", but only about
> 4,950,000 for "dark blue" + Oxford and merely 3,520,000 for "old Blue" ...
> Joel
The problem is that if the OED deletes that sense, someone will be quoted as accusing editors of perpetrating a shocking secret pogrom or putsch against entries associated with the British.


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