bent in dictionary scope

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Dec 19 20:28:57 UTC 2012

On Dec 19, 2012, at 2:00 PM, Joel S. Berson wrote:

> 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.
> Joel
> 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.)

Well, we have more capital, anyway.

LH, who does not--despite his credentials (U. of Rochester '65)--consider himself an Old Dandelion Yellow
> 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
>> OED
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society -
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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