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Sense And Sensibility: Old English Semantics And The Lexicographer's Point Of View

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Chapter Summary

Not very long ago, in April 2005, the English-speaking world celebrated Dr. Samuel Johnson's A Dictionary of the English Language, marking the 250th anniversary of its first publication. For each dictionary is a product of its age. One clear marker that sets the Dictionary of Old English (DOE) off as a twenty-first-century production, apart from its use of technology, is editorial reluctance to claim more than the evidence allows. To some this may appear as admirable scholarship; to others, an obvious failure to make a commitment; and to others, even worse, a total abdication of authority. This chapter focuses on this interplay between sense and sensibility, between meaning and lexicographic engagement. It begins with an overview of the letter G, the eighth letter of the DOE, recently published online, on CD-ROM and on microfiche.

Keywords: A Dictionary of the English Language; Dictionary of Old English (DOE); Dr. Samuel Johnson



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