Usage and correctness (coming soon)

This section of EOED is in preparation, due to be completed over 2019-2020. Meanwhile, see the page in our Historical background section on Language and usage.

Listed below are some articles and studies discussing the OED’s treatment of issues relating to usage and correctness over its various editions and versions.

  • Brewer, Charlotte, 2005. ‘Authority and Personality: Usage Labels in the Oxford English Dictionary‘, Transactions of the Philological Society, 103, 261-301. Free access from TPS website (via Brewer 2014) at https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-968X.2005.00154.x (downloadable PDF)
  • Brewer, Charlotte, 2007b. Treasure-House of the Language: The Living OED. London and New Haven: Yale University Press
  • Brewer, Charlotte, 2007c. ‘Pronouncing the P: Prescription or Description in English 19th- and 20th-Century Dictionaries?’, Historiographia Linguistica, 34, 257-80. Available via EOED Library
  • Brewer, Charlotte, 2010b. ‘Prescriptivism and descriptivism in the first, second and third editions of OED‘, English Today 26, 24-33. Available via EOED Library
  • Brewer, Charlotte, 2015b. ‘Metalanguage and labelling in English dictionaries’, The Oxford Handbook of Lexicography, ed. Philip Durkin. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 488-500
  • Burchfield, R. W., 1972. ‘Four-Letter Words and the OED‘, TLS, 13 October, 1233
  • Burchfield, R. W., 1974. ‘The Treatment of Controversial Vocabulary in the Oxford English Dictionary‘, Transactions of the Philological Society, 1-28. Free access from TPS website (via Brewer 2014) at https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-968X.1973.tb01012.x (downloadable PDF)
  • Mugglestone, Lynda, 2000d. ‘”An Historian Not a Critic”: The Standard of Usage in the OED‘, in Mugglestone 2000a, 189-206
  • Mugglestone, Lynda, 2000b. ‘Labels Reconsidered: Objectivity and the OED‘, Dictionaries: Journal of the Dictionary Society of North America, 21, 22-37
  • Mugglestone, Lynda, 2015. ‘Prescription and Description in Dictionaries’, in The Oxford Handbook of Lexicography, ed. Philip Durkin. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 546-60

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