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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: December ::
Re: OED and Shakespeare
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.2458  Monday, 23 December 2002

From:           Peter Holland <
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 >
Date:           Sunday, 22 Dec 2002 05:55:01 -0500
Subject: 13.2447 Re: OED and Shakespeare
Comment:        RE: SHK 13.2447 Re: OED and Shakespeare

There are solutions for editors to the problems of the OED's tendency to
ascribe first usages of words incorrectly to Shakespeare: (1) use such
on-line corpora as are readily available to search for antedatings; and
(2) indicate that the OED makes such an ascription without indicating
that the editor necessarily believes the OED's assumption of
Shakespearean coining to be accurate.
It is worth knowing that OED makes such an ascription whether or not it
turns out to be true, as in the example I gave in this thread a while
ago ('lonely' in *Coriolanus*) where the belief that the word was
'invented' by Shakespeare has penetrated dozens of critics' articles.

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