n Lexikos - The making of the Oxford English Dictionary : review

Volume 26, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1684-4904
  • E-ISSN: 2224-0039
  • Author Peter Gilliver1
  • Affiliations : 1 Oxford University Press
  • Source : Lexikos, Volume 26, Issue 1, Jan 2016, p. 436 - 445
  • Accreditation : Arts and Humanities Citation Index (Web of Science (WoS) Core Collection)
    Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET)
    Social Sciences Citation Index(Web of Science (WoS) Core Collection)



This comprehensive publication dealing with the Oxford English Dictionary as a project consists of thirteen chapters. It traces the development of the OED from its earliest beginnings through the various stages of its realization up to the present day. Two 'interludes' are placed in between the main chronological narrative. The first, following on chapter 2, examines the lexicographical out-put of the 'sub-editors' under the editorship of Frederick Furnivall during the 1860s and 1870s, and the second, following on chapter 6, describes the various stages of the process of compiling a Dictionary entry. Interspersed in the text of most chapters, but separate from the main narrative, can be found 'capsules', a term and concept which Gilliver borrowed from Norman Davies's Europe: A History (1996). For each of these a particular word forms the basis of a certain topic, such as an aspect of editorial policy, which seemed necessary at a specific point. Copious and informative footnotes are given at the bottom of each page of text. Forty-six figures, inserted in the text, show certain persons and build-ings, or present specific entries and objects mentioned or discussed. The most important part of the front matter consists of the Preface, while that of the back matter concerns the extensive Bibliography and the detailed Index.

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