bent in dictionary scope

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Wed Dec 19 19:00:21 UTC 2012

I apologize to those who took me too seriously.  I think, however,
that it depends somewhat on what newspaper one reads.  Some of us
read the Columbia Daily Spectator, or the Yale Daily News.  And the
News of the World is no longer in publication.


P.S.  As was perhaps obscure in my first message, Wikipedia does have
articles titled "Columbia blue" and "Yale Blue".  (Apparently Yale's
is more prestigious.)

At 12/19/2012 11:27 AM, Jesse Sheidlower wrote:
>On Wed, Dec 19, 2012 at 10:54:21AM -0500, David Barnhart wrote:
> > For folks so well understanding of dictionaries, this discussion seems to
> > have blithered on long enough, don't you think?
> >
> > If the OED was perceived by none other than Sir William Craigie as somewhat
> > "selective", why would he have felt the necessity of journeying to Chicago
> > to undertake _A Dictionary of American English_?  I believe Bradley (a
> > British journalist?) was the one who oversaw [??] the production of the B's
> > after critiquing the early fascicles for the letter "A".  So, why shouldn't
> > we understand that there is a certain greater attention in a
> British book to
> > British English and a certain other bent towards American in an American
> > book.  I doubt that any one dictionary can succeed in covering to the
> > satisfaction of some people all varieties of English regardless of their
> > color/colour remembering that the sun never sets on the English language.
>But David, that's not what the issue is here, and the people who are
>claiming that this is a British/American thing are missing the point.
>The OED's greater attention to British English is a historical accident,
>and the current OED devotes considerable resources to its coverage of
>American English.
>As I intended to make clear in my previous message, the reason that
>Columbia and Yale are not represented in even the revised OED entry for
>_blue_ is not that OED editors think that these universities are
>unimportant upstarts. It's that you can expect to find examples, quite
>readily, of "old blue" or "rowing blue" or "the dark/light blues" in any
>British newspaper, but there's absolutely zero chance of finding
>equivalent (unexplained) references in any American newspaper. Are they
>in use, somewhere, sometimes? Yes. But these uses are so restricted that
>they don't belong in even a dictionary like the OED. It's not a
>British/American issue--it's just a question of currency.
>Jesse Sheidlower
>The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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