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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: December ::
Re: OED and Shakespeare
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.2447  Friday, 20 December 2002

[1]     From:   R. A. Cantrell <
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        Date:   Thursday, 19 Dec 2002 07:12:58 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.2437 Re: OED and Shakespeare

[2]     From:   Martin Steward <
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        Date:   Thursday, 19 Dec 2002 14:15:40 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.2437 Re: OED and Shakespeare

[3]     From:   Carol Barton <
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        Date:   Thursday, 19 Dec 2002 23:37:11 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.2437 Re: OED and Shakespeare


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           R. A. Cantrell <
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Date:           Thursday, 19 Dec 2002 07:12:58 -0600
Subject: 13.2437 Re: OED and Shakespeare
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.2437 Re: OED and Shakespeare

>As stated, that does appear to be circular.  How does Mr. Cantrell
>suggest overcoming this problem?

In future, those who edit and annotate the plays might be a little more
attentive to the origins of the definitions they adopt from their
predecessors. At present, assigning the problem to the Jensen Center for
Contention (as remedial community service) might serve the turn.

All the best,
R.A. Cantrell
<
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[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Martin Steward <
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Date:           Thursday, 19 Dec 2002 14:15:40 -0000
Subject: 13.2437 Re: OED and Shakespeare
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.2437 Re: OED and Shakespeare

>>There is some circularity in this business. Frequently OED cites
>>Shakespeare as the first etymological entry for a particular usage, and
>>the chain of annotators of the plays will cite the definition from OED
>>(taken from Shakespeare) in their glosses.
>
>As stated, that does appear to be circular.  How does Mr. Cantrell
>suggest overcoming this problem?
>
>Mike Jensen

I don't know what R. A. Cantrell would say. But wouldn't Wittgenstein
have said, "It isn't circular - circularity is just a non-problem that
arises because of the linguistic idiocies involved in post-Socratic
philosophy. In fact it's just the way it is."

Or something like that.

As someone said on this list some time ago, words don't have meanings,
they have uses. So, annotators of Shakespeare, continue as you were, for
it provides us with harmless amusement.

martin

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Carol Barton <
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Date:           Thursday, 19 Dec 2002 23:37:11 -0500
Subject: 13.2437 Re: OED and Shakespeare
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.2437 Re: OED and Shakespeare

I agree with Tony wholeheartedly. I have often found the OED--- and the
DNB---to be unreliable, and in fact my first published article was on
the former's erroneous gloss of the last line of Milton's Sonnet XIX
(they also serve who only stand and wait)--- which they got wrong in
every instance. Likewise the DNB, which references people who
aren't---or just aren't there.

Best to all,
Carol Barton

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