eTextbook: Empire of Words
Author(s): Willinsky, John
ISBN 10: 0691037191. See all ISBN's
ISBN 13: 9780691037196
Publisher: Princeton University Press
This is an eTextbook Learn More
What is the meaning of a word? Most readers turn to the dictionary for authoritative meanings and correct usage. But what is the source of authority in dictionaries? Some dictionaries employ panels of experts to fix meaning and prescribe usage, others rely on derivation through etymology. But perhaps no other dictionary has done more to standardize the English language than the formidable twenty-volume Oxford English Dictionary in its 1989 second edition. Yet this most Victorian of modern dictionaries derives its meaning by citing the earliest known usage of words and by demonstrating shades of meaning through an awesome database of over five million examples of usage in context. In this fascinating study, John Willinsky challenges the authority of this imperial dictionary, revealing many of its inherent prejudices and questioning the assumptions of its ongoing revision. "Clearly, the OED is no simple record of the language `as she is spoke,'" Willinsky writes. "It is a selective representation reflecting certain elusive ideas about the nature of the English language and people. Empire of Words reveals, by statistic and table, incident and anecdote, how serendipitous, judgmental, and telling a task editing a dictionary such as the OED can be."
Willinsky analyzes the favored citation records from the three editorial periods of the OED's compilation: the Victorian, imperial first edition; the modern supplement; and the contemporary second edition composed on an electronic database. He reveals shifts in linguistic authority: the original edition relied on English literature and, surprisingly, on translations, reference works, and journalism; the modern editions have shifted emphasis to American sources and periodicals while continuing to neglect women, workers, and other English-speaking countries.
Willinsky's dissection of dictionary entries exposes contradictions and ambiguities in the move from citation to definition. He points out that Shakespeare, the most frequently cited authority in the OED, often confounds the dictionary's simple sense of meaning with his wit and artfulness. He shows us how the most famous four-letter words in the language found their way through a belabored editorial process, sweating and grunting, into the supplement to the OED. Willinsky sheds considerable light on how the OED continues to shape the English language through the sometimes idiosyncratic, often biased selection of citations by hired readers and impassioned friends of the language.
Anyone who is fascinated with words and language will find Willinsky's tour through the OED a delightful and stimulating experience. No one who reads this book will ever feel quite the same about Murray's web of words.
All ISBN's for this title:
ISBN 10: 0691037191, ISBN 13: 9780691037196, eISBN 10: 1400821355, eISBN 13: 97814008213581. List price can refer to either the digital or print list price, whichever is available to Kno.
Kno offers a 15-day, no questions asked, money back guarantee for all books you buy or rent through the Kno Bookstore. You are eligible for a full refund so long as you do not exceed the chapter limitation notification that appears in the textbook within a 15-day period.
Kno has the largest collection of digital textbooks on the market today. However, publishers do not have rights to make some of their textbooks available in a digital form. But that is changing over time and Kno is working with our publisher partners to make as many titles available digitally as possible.
An eTextbook is the digital version of a physical textbook.
All eTextbooks provided by Kno.com maintain the exact same page numbers and content as their physical versions.
Well, this is embarrassing.
Your transaction was not completed, please try again.
Sorry, there was a problem and your transaction was not processed completely. Please do not try to purchase this book again.
Instead contact Kno Customer Service at 1.877.935.6648 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and provide them with the following message number "1201" and they will resolve the issue.
Oops, looks like you already own this book.
Please check your course manager and review your purchased titles.
Hmmm, that's strange.
It appears that this title is not in our catalog after all.
The transaction did not complete because your credit card was declined. Possible reasons include:
- Your bank or credit card company is having technical issues
- The credit card has expired
- The credit card does not have sufficient funds
Our credit card processing service does not specify the cause, so we recommend calling your credit card provider for details.
In a recent customer survey 54% of students using Kno got an A in their class. Kno has over 70 features that will improve your grades, save you time and help you get smarter!
Here's Just a Taste of What Kno Offers
organizes all your textbooks, PDFs and content in one spot.
instantly converts terms from your textbook into beautifully designed and smart flash cards.
any text on a page.
turns any diagram in a book into a multiple choice quiz.
maps instructional videos, images, and photos to formulas & concepts in your book.