The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0821 Wednesday, 19 December 2007
From: Hardy M. Cook <
Date: Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Subject: Latest OED Online Update Now Available
For those who might be interested, here is the latest news from OED
Online. I have included many details for anyone who, like myself, may be
looking for excuses to postpone grading that next paper.
Latest OED Online Update Now Available
Explore over 2500 new and revised words...
A new update of the Oxford English Dictionary was published on 13
December, bringing 2506 new and revised entries from PURPRESS to QUIT
SHILLING. John Simpson discusses the latest batch of new and revised
entries in his latest article
information on the new longest entry in the OED and how the 'queen'
entry has changed over the last 30 years.
Words at the start of the Q
John Simpson, Chief Editor, Oxford English Dictionary
The first entry I worked on when I joined the editorial staff of the
Supplement to the OED back in 1976 was the entry for queen, and so (now
that we are republishing queen in the current batch of revised and
updated words) I was interested to see how the entry had changed over
the thirty-one years since then.
Of course we weren't revising the entry in full in 1976, but only
updating the original OED entry (first published in 1902) with new
material drawn principally from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
As we revised the entire entry this time round we found many areas which
needed change: we have added a further four new meanings and two new
compounds (queen-elect and queen's china), and now have 77 (rather than
22) orthographic variants of queen; a new entry structure distinguishing
senses referring to a woman from other extended uses; substantial
changes to definitions; earlier documentary evidence provided for over
half of the subsenses and compounds; later evidence for 91% of the
subsenses, and earlier evidence for 64%. Along with the other changes
made to the entry, this represents a substantially new view of our
understanding of the word queen over the centuries since it entered English.
There are senses which were originally first recorded in the reign of
Queen Anne (1702-14) which can now be shown to date from the time of
Queen Elizabeth I (1558-1603) and Mary I (1553-8), though at present we
have been unable to find the Queen of Spain fritillary any earlier than
1775; queen-size goods (especially beds: the term appears to have
originated in North America) tumble back from 1959 to 1906; the
affectionate term of address 'Queen Mum' moves back from 1960 to 1954, a
year after the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
The current publication batch runs from purpress 'to commit purpresture;
to enclose or encroach upon land illegally' to quit shilling 'a sum of
money spent by a prisoner in celebration of his or her acquittal'.
Published on 13 December 2007, it contains 2,508 entries, bringing the
total number of main entries in the OED to 261,720. The dictionary's
591,193 lemmas (roughly, words and expressions which are included in the
dictionary) are now illustrated by 2,864,390 quotations and represent
726,451 different meanings.
The list of some of the more significant words included in this release
is perhaps somewhat shorter than usual:
purse, pursue, pursuit, push, put, puzzle, pyramid, python, quadrant,
qualification, qualify, qualitative, quality, quantity, quarrel, quarry,
quarter, queen, queer, query, quest, question, queue, quibble, quick,
quid, quiet, quiff, quilt, quince, quintessence, quip, quirk, quit, quite.
This is partially because of the presence of the verb to put, which
dominates the range. In its revised form it (temporarily?) takes its
place as the largest entry in the OED, supplanting make, which itself
took over from set in 2000. Other large entries here include quarter,
quiet, and push. The smallest entry in the current range is the verb to
putlog, which seems to have enjoyed a quiet life since OED1. Alongside
the solid trail to the end of P we have a slightly quirkier set of words
in Q (quibble, quiff, quip, quintessence), as well as quality, quantity,
and over 200 main entries beginning with quad-.
Updating revised entries
In June of this year we noted that, following the switch to our new
editorial computer system and the conversion of the dictionary data from
SGML to XML, we had been able to republish updated versions of revised
entries from necial to proteose (see Restructuring of compounds and
phrases on OED Online). I'm now glad to be able to report that the
present release includes all updated versions of entries revised to
date, from M (the alphabetical point at which revision started). This
means that any amendments to entries which we have applied to the
database in the revised range are now published. These are often
bibliographical improvements, but also include a number of earlier
attestations and other alterations.
Typical changes include: middle class (antedating from 1756 to 1745),
muller verb 4 (alteration to etymology), myrianthous (labelling change),
and narrowcast verb (new sense and earlier quotation).
We have also added new words and senses from across the alphabet. Learn
the stories <http://academic-marketing.oup.com/c/17Ae5RLGrbAtrAH> behind
blankie, puttanesca, Godzone, and QALY from the new words editor
Notes on OED's December 2007 release of new words
Katherine Connor Martin, Acting Principal Editor, New Words, OED
The lexical innovations of children are often so short-lived or
idiosyncratic that they do not gain widespread currency outside a
particular family. Blankie, however, a colloquialism for "blanket"
formed by adding the suffix -ie to the first syllable, has stood the
test of time. Written evidence shows over 80 years of English usage of
the word, especially in North America, but it probably has a longer,
unrecorded history in the language of the nursery.
This humorous name for New Zealand has its origins in a play on the
first two words of the phrase "God's Own Country", respelled to suggest
a compound having the word zone n. as its second element. Despite its
presumption, the term "God's Own Country" has been patriotically applied
to numerous geopolitical entities, including the United States,
Yorkshire, and the Indian state of Kerala. The irreverent Godzone,
however, belongs to New Zealand alone.
Food terms are a major source of new loanwords in English. In Italian,
this word, denoting a piquant tomato sauce with olives, capers, and
anchovies, has the literal sense "prostitute-esque" (< puttana
prostitute). Culinary literature has produced a variety of conjectures
for this association, such as the notion that the sauce was fast and
easy to prepare between clients, or that its strong flavours and aroma
exerted a stimulating effect. However, the motivation for the name
Beloved of Scrabble players, the relatively few English words containing
a Q which is not immediately followed by U are primarily loanwords, like
the new OED entry qipao n. (< Chinese). QALY is an exception. An acronym
from "quality-adjusted life year", it is a technical term used primarily
in cost-benefit analysis to account for the quality of life, as well as
its duration, after medical or surgical treatment.
Visit the Oxford English Dictionary Online web site for a full list of
new words and senses in this update
those 'q' words which might come in handy for Scrabble over the holiday
The latest news from Oxford University Press
We are delighted to announce that the latest update to Oxford
Scholarship Online <http://academic-marketing.oup.com/c/17Aej7cDZB0rKXL>
, along with nine NEW subject modules, is now available. December also
saw the launch of the new online edition of Who's Who
<http://academic-marketing.oup.com/c/17AepJV7LNIqUEi>, published by
Oxford University Press, to coincide with the release of the 2008 print
edition of Who's Who published by A & C Black. Why not contact us
institutional free trial or a price quotation?
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Hardy M. Cook,
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