Book of Kells Now Online
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
The Chronicle of Higher Education has a detailed article on how the transition to digital and online formats are changing dictionaries. Digital dictionaries are more convenient, provide feedback to lexicographers on what words are being searched, and have the tools to track social trends in vocabulary use.
Dictionary of Canadianisms on Historical Principles Online
The first edition, from 1967, of The Dictionary of Canadianisms on Historical Principles is now available online. A second edition is in preparation with publication targeted for 2015.
Making this resource freely available is a good thing, but the dictionary does have its limitations. Most notably, it is from 1967, so many recent Canadianisms are not to be found in it. There is no entry for poutine, for example. Also, the DCHP only includes citations from Canadian sources. While this policy is great for tracking Canadian usage, users must remain aware that many of the terms are older in other dialects. For example, the OED has a British use of Chesterfield a decade before the word appears in Canada, and use of toque goes back to the sixteenth century. And in a bad web design choice, users must click on each citation to see the bibliographic data, which is annoying and time consuming.
So while the DCHP is not a one-stop language site, it is a valuable addition to the lexicographic resources available on the web.
John McIntyre, copy editor for the Baltimore Sun, enumerates the various zombie rules that some people still cling to. There are no surprises on the list, but it’s nice to see them all listed all together. If he missed any, I can’t think of what they might be.
I’m pleased that I’m guilty of enforcing only one of these rules with my students: “Insisting on who for people, that for animals and objects.” I’ve gotten better at letting it slide, but it still irks the hell out of me whenever I see it, and the urge to pick up the blue pencil is a strong one.
The Problem With Peevery
Kory Stamper of the Harmless Drudgery blog points out the problems with correcting the grammar of others.
Copyright 1997-2014, by David Wilton