The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.2419 Tuesday, 17 December 2002
Date: Friday, 13 Dec 2002 10:32:55 +0000
Subject: OED and Shakespeare
Peter Holland is right to counsel caution in his comments about the OED
and Shakespearean citation.
Two of the most prominent of the OED's obstetricians comprised a
psychotic American civil war surgeon and a Scotchman. (Tweak ! tweak!
but no PC letters please). For an excellent Christmas read and some
detail about the Shakespeare citations see "The Professor and the
Madman" by Simon Winchester and for more detail see "Caught in the Web
of Words" by K M E Murray (James Murray's grandchild).
Murray reports a dream in which Boswell prods Johnson "What would you
think if a better dictionary than your own was to be produced by a Whig
Scotchman and published by Oxford University?" Johnson states his
displeasure at the thought, "In being facetious there is no need to be
The site of the specially constructed HM Royal mailbox to cope with
Murray's mail during his editorship is close to the "Jude the Obscure"
pub just off the Banbury Road in Oxford if anyone is passing through.
(And The "Jude" is close to the "Bird and Baby" (Eagle and Child) where
Tolkie used to write things like "Lord of the Rings" -which speaks
volumes for what Oxfordshire ale does to the frontal lobes - if anyone
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