ditch it? no way!

I was rather surprised when I came across this article. I know that English Language has undergone changes in the modern world. But never in my right frame of mind would I discard or disregard the dictionary. To me, it has been my personal friend and teacher. Without it, I would never be the present me. It hones my language capabilities. It defines who I am.

Ditch the dictionary: British think-tank
LONDON: The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) should no longer be the main authority on the English language because it does not keep pace with today's rapid linguistic changes, a report said on Thursday.

Left-wing think-tank Demos said the OED should be replaced by a website --democtionary.org -- that would allow English-speaking members of the public from Britain and abroad to contribute their own words and definitions.

The report's co-author, Sam Jones, said an online dictionary similar to the user-generated Internet encyclopaedia Wikipedia was needed to track the pace of language change and the influence of non-native speakers on it.

"English can no longer be seen as a single language, but more as a family of languages," he said. "Each of these reflects the different ways people experience the world.

"Such variation is now as much part of the English language as is grammar and word order. The problem is that it is rarely seen as such.

"As the world becomes more and more connected, accommodating different forms of English will be crucial to building the cultural literacy we need."

He added: "(The website) would be a more valid reflection of the English language than that of the Oxford English Dictionary."

The OED, which is compiled by a team of lexicographers with contributions from "readers" around the world, has been "the last word on words" for more than a century and is one of the greatest works of scholarship.

The latest print version covers 20 volumes, has 21,730 pages and 291,500 entries from across the English-speaking world, plus etymologies, pronunciations and spelling variations.

Chief editor John Simpson welcomed Demos's contribution, but denied the OED was a prescriptive rather than a descriptive reference work.

"Demos are trading on a rather outdated caricature of the Oxford English Dictionary. We don't regulate English -- we describe it," he said.

"Nowadays the OED is online, accessed regularly all over the world, and its entries trace many varieties of English that now form the language.

"As it happens, our latest update today includes our entry for wiki, but for 150 years the OED has been based on a collaborative model of gathering information from readers everywhere.

"In addition, we search huge databanks recording a cross-section of the many forms of English used today." - AFP/ir

source: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_world/view/264195/1/.html

In lending my undying support, I’ve written a little something dedicated to the dear Mr Dictionary:

A Tribute to the Lexicon

Oh how I yowl for
The entity that has
Millions of souls bow
In meekness
And in awe
Of its opulence
That speaks more hushed
Than a mute

He doesn’t warrant
The call to dig the grave
For his demise
Considering the exceptional work
He has accomplished
Since the days of the soothsayers
Who wouldn’t even dare
Casting his death in stone back then

Lexis foul or fair
He educates
Edifies
And offers raison d’être
Living lives meaningfully
Which makes lexicography
An extremely worthwhile basis
Of the glorious pursuit

Woe to those whose shallow minds
Are only deep enough
To stir up unrest
Amongst the imps of Formicidae
Woe to those whose blunt tongues
Are only sharp enough
To pierce through
The hearts of the Emblems and Purebloods

Oh how I moan for His Majesty

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Published in: on Thursday, March 15, 2007 at 11:59 pm  Comments (4)  
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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. You’re certainly passionate about the Oxford dictionary, CS. What with this romantic ode & all? 🙂

    With me, it’s a fair mix of both. I do have an Oxford dictionary software in my laptop. And I carry a chunky paperback of an Oxford picture dictionary. For descriptions of fine-detailing.
    But online ones are pretty good too!
    Farlex’s Free Online Dictionary on the Net is just so cool with comprehensive detailing for the use of each word, no matter how trivial.

  2. Hello!
    This work is very good, thank you
    Good weekend

  3. Wonderful – and very cleverly done CS.

  4. Yes, Susan, I feel for the dictionary. It really has been my guiding light for many years. Yes, I agree that there are excellent online dictionaries too.

    Thanks David for your encouragement! I’m glad you dropped by.

    Never enough to thank you, Atyllah! Cheers!


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