Category: Dictionaries and lexicography

Video: what does ‘pwn’ mean?

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stamps

Did you know that James Murray… was a keen philatelist?

2015 marks the centenary of the death of James Murray, the first Editor of the Oxford English Dictionary. Murray’s work as a lexicographer is well known, but there was a great deal more to him than lexicography. We are therefore marking the anniversary with an occasional series of articles highlighting other aspects of his life […]

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Video: sidewalk spelling bee in New York City

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auto

The AUTO- age

‘Self’ reference How readily someone may be understood when using a new word will depend on several factors: the intuitable transparency of meaning, its clarity in context, the receptiveness of the audience, and so on. It’s scarcely surprising, then, that coiners or early adopters of new terminology often exhibit a certain hesitancy. Among the early […]

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false friends

False Friends between English and Spanish

Building a bridge between two languages is a very demanding undertaking, and ‘false friends’ make it harder still. False friends are more commonly known as ‘false cognates’, or words that are similar or identical in both languages but which convey a different meaning. They give us a false sense of security before leading us astray. […]

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Murray Garden Party_OUP Archives

A letter from Dr Murray: commemorating the centenary of Murray’s death

26 July 2015 marks the 100th anniversary of the death of James Murray, the first Editor of the Oxford English Dictionary. To commemorate this centenary, we are reproducing an autobiographical letter Murray wrote in 1903. You can also discover more about Murray’s life in an occasional series of articles about Murray’s life which we are […]

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gavel

Legislation meets lexicography: the campaign for dictionary recognition of the word ‘upstander’

Oxford University Press frequently receives requests from members of the public to add a particular word to our dictionaries, but an official legislative resolution supporting a word’s inclusion may be unprecedented. Nonetheless, that is what happened on June 29, 2015, when the New Jersey State Senate approved a resolution “urging Merriam-Webster, Inc. and the Oxford […]

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Murray frozen

Did you know that James Murray… once had his beard frozen solid?

2015 marks the centenary of the death of James Murray, the first Editor of the Oxford English Dictionary. Murray’s work as a lexicographer is well known, but there was a great deal more to him than lexicography. We are therefore marking the anniversary with an occasional series of articles highlighting other aspects of his life […]

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