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20c male sources
Willinsky's top sources in Supplement

Willinsky's top sources in Supplement

Where male sources were concerned Burchfield chose differently – a sometimes eccentric pantheon of great writers, quoted from in much greater numbers. The figures here are Willinsky's (1994: 215). Unfortunately it is not now possible to make electronic searches of Burchfield's Supplement independently of OED2, so we cannot distinguish (as Willinsky could) between OED1's quotations (which may have included some from e.g. Shaw, Kipling, and Twain) and Burchfield's additions to existing authors in the Supplement. Nevertheless it is clear that Burchfield specifically targetted some of these authors, despite the fact that they fell outside his twentieth-century vocabulary remit: for example, Burchfield recorded in 1973 that A Mark Twain Lexicon (Ramsay and Emberson 1938) had been 'converted into the form of dictionary slips' for the Supplement (Burchfield 1973: 99).

The graph below shows OED2's figures for these authors. There are significant differences between the respective total quotations in these two graphs for Kipling (2,703 vs. Willinsky's 2,000), Shaw (2,021 vs. Willinsky's 1,730), and Twain (1,730 vs. Willinsky's 1,510), indicating that OED1 had already included some quotations for these authors. The same explanation probably accounts for the differences in respective totals for the other authors too (all of whom except Auden were publishing well before the completion of OED1 in 1928).

Willinsky's top sources in OED2

Willinsky's top sources in OED2

For more on Willinsky go here.

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