Category: Dictionaries and lexicography

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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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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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’

Update: ‘upstander’ has now been included in OxfordDictionaries.com, added a year after this article was published. 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, […]

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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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old newspapers

Q&A with OED contributor Fred R. Shapiro

One of the notable words in the June 2015 Oxford English Dictionary (OED) update was the term African American, which was antedated to more than half a century before the previous earliest citation. The discovery was made by longtime OED contributor Fred R. Shapiro, a librarian at Yale Law School and the editor of The Yale […]

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james murray spelling

Did you know that James Murray… was for several years an advocate of spelling reform?

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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500 words

500 words: stories from a wider world

The BBC Radio 2 500 WORDS competition, run by the Chris Evans Breakfast Show, asks children aged 5-13 to compose an original work of fiction in no more than 500 words. For the past four years, Oxford Dictionaries for Children has collected and analysed all of the words used by young writers in the competition. […]

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