Review by Choice Review
Seeking to provide new perspectives on the pioneering efforts of the scholars who created the OED, Mugglestone (Oxford Univ.) chose 13 essays by 14 scholars, including two from the US and one (Dieter Kastovsky) from the University of Vienna. One essay surveys the many volunteers, subeditors, and editors who made the OED possible; others examine the methodology of assigning meaning and determining standards of pronunciation and the public response to the OED. Noel Osselton compares OED editor Sir James Murray with his European counterparts--the Grimm Brothers, Emile Littre, and Mattias de Vries (German, French, Dutch dictionaries, respectively)--and argues for Murray's as the most inclusive, well-documented, and consistent. Also in contrast to them, Murray had a knack for handily paring down bulky supportive quotations. In fact, Murray grew impatient with the ponderous quotations supplied by American Civil War veteran and mental patient W.C. Minor, whose dedication to the cause of exemplifying OED entries is legendary. Mugglestone includes a glossary of the OED fasciculi with the dates that they appeared, and because the essays casually mention so many lexicographers she also includes a 20-page appendix of personalia associated with the OED (though unfortunately not lexicographers cited who predated the OED). Recommended for graduate students, researchers, and professionals. J. Shreve; Allegany College of Maryland
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.