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On 11 March the New Edition was updated with new materials which fall into three maincategories: Below this are listed all the new words in the ranges, and a list of new entries from across the alphabet. Wells allowed himself to speculate, in his futuristic novel The world set free , on how much the OED would grow as the twentieth century progressed:.
Within ten years from the establishment of the World Republic the New English Dictionary [the name under which the Oxford English Dictionary was originally published] had swelled to include a vocabulary of , words, and a man of would have found considerable difficulty in reading an ordinary newspaper. On the other hand, the men of the new time could still appreciate the older English literature. It was not without some sacrifices that the English-speaking peoples were permitted the satisfaction of hearing their speech used universally.
The language was shorn of a number of grammatical peculiarities, the distinctive forms for the subjunctive mood for example, and most of its irregular plurals were abolished; its spelling was systematised and adapted to the vowel sounds in use upon the Continent of Europe, and a process of incorporating foreign nouns and verbs commenced that speedily reached enormous proportions p. English may not have gone so far along the road of global simplification and standardization as Wells predicted, but he was too cautious in his estimate of the size of the language.
There are many ways of counting the number of entries in a dictionary. The same count shows that the Second Edition incorporating the —86 Supplement saw this figure rise to , The current revision has, since , brought the sum total up to , as of December Other counts are rising too. The number of illustrative quotations in the First Edition of the OED was 1,,; in the Second Edition 2,,; and currently in the Third Edition 3,, — just over the three million mark.
A search through the entries revised over the past ten years shows that some , subsenses are new or have now been provided with earlier examples that represents about 80 every working day over the period , and a larger number of , subsenses have received more up-to-date evidence over per working day.
The current update to the OED centres round four main words: French , general , information , and technology. French continues the theme of major nouns and adjectives relating to countries American , English , and Indian are examples of words from this set that have already been revised.
General and the words surrounding this in the alphabet allow us to complete the sequence started several releases ago when we published the gene and genetic words. Information and technology , and all of the words in their alphabetical ranges, highlight significant areas of lexical and cultural development over the past century. As well as these high-profile terms, the release also includes a further instalment from the letter R , this time taking us from request to the start of rh.
As previously, the re- words have consisted of a steady run of complex and interesting terms. But to return to one of the four key terms: The revised entry shows that, not surprisingly, English-speakers have been talking about Frenchwomen since the Middle Ages from a text written out around but probably compiled a century earlier.
It is a times like these that we are indebted to the work of earlier lexicographers — in this case those working on the Middle English Dictionary. Further extensive documentation takes evidence for the term through the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries, up to the present day. We see different types of revision in the entry for generous. OED2 gives an extremely short etymology taking the form of the word back through French to Latin, and looking sideways at related Spanish and Italian versions.
The revised etymology traces evidence for the various senses of generous along a timeline in French and Latin, before pointing to a wider range of cognate forms in western and southern Europe. In addition, modern evidence allows us to judge more accurately which subsenses seem to continue a continental model, and which appear to be native creations.
Most of the subsenses of the word there are thirteen senses for the adjective are provided with earlier documentation, and yet again this is a word which was formerly first recorded in the works of Shakespeare. The final stages of work on restaurant witnessed a string of surprises. First, the earliest use moved back from a description of the Haymarket in London to the Morning Chronicle of 7 July, noting a new eating house in Paris.
But by now it seemed that the earliest references, clustered around and , were for the spelling restaurat. That would have upset the applecart. After the data was transferred to the web site, a further predating from England, this time, has come to light: At any point in the history of English, a writer might have decided to transliterate birdsong as seep or peep or chirrup or tweet or twit , and indeed OED dates most of these to the 16th century.
Some are generic descriptions, others more specific: Others succeed through artistic patronage. Harke, harke, bowgh wawgh: Similarly, both senses of arf were popularized by their associations with irrepressible icons of American comic strips: Little Orphan Annie and Popeye the Sailor. The Popeye character does seem to have been the source of arf as a representation of laughter, though his distinctive hearty laugh was also represented by original cartoonist Elzie Crisler Segar as erf!
One notable after-effect of written exclamations is their capacity to transform or replace the vocal sound they imitate. You may know someone — I do — who laughs with a sort of he-he-he sound straight out of The Beano. More often, people will voice the written form as a means of suggesting irony or, ahem, archness. Now, as in that last sentence, one can add a further layer: Our evidence for arf shows that it has acquired this status if you can call it that as a bet-hedging way to venture a weak joke, pun, or double entendre: As the entry for echo boom demonstrates, labelling generations of people with reference to preceding generations is not new, but here, the handy alphabetical reference point provided by Generation X itself only added to OED Online in is utilized to provide a shorthand for the generation that followed.
Whether we see a Generation Z, and face an alphabetical impasse after that, remains to be seen. Although straightforward enough in terms of meaning, this word, from the world of dance music, for a remixed version of an existing piece of music, is somewhat more mysterious with regard to its origin.
Our first recorded instance is from the title of a remix, but quite why the second element rub is employed is not entirely clear. No conclusive evidence has as yet been uncovered. As a strain of bacteria resistant to antibiotics, this is a very familiar word to most, especially from media reports about MRSA. Our entry demonstrates that it has other meanings, however, some of them even somewhat laudatory.
It first appears in , with reference to bugs of the insectile sort, then moves on to microorganisms in , initially of the exceptionally vigorous type which leads to our well-known antibiotic-resistant bacteria, but additionally, in , giving rise to a bug super in a more orthodox way, one with unusual properties which make it potentially useful. This quarterly release for OED Online features revised entries for the terms beginning with tech- , and these two adjectives, with different etymological derivations, highlight two of the more modern developments which characterize this sequence of words.
The first is a somewhat informal way of designating technological sophistication or complication, and the people with expertise in or enthusiasm for this field. The second, taking up the dance music theme from re-rub above, relates to music which shows to some degree the influence of the techno genre. In addition to revised versions of Second edtion entries, the revised range requalify to Rg contained the following new entries:.
In addition to these new entries, a number of new subordinate entries were added to existing entries. Please sign in to search the dictionary. Revisions Words and numbers H. Wells allowed himself to speculate, in his futuristic novel The world set free , on how much the OED would grow as the twentieth century progressed: In addition, he highlighted some areas where he thought the language would change: Words The current update to the OED centres round four main words: These are some of the major R words in this release: List of new words In addition to revised versions of Second edtion entries, the revised range requalify to Rg contained the following new entries: Under request , n.
Resettlement Administration Under reshift , v. Restoration Day restoration ecology restoration programme restoration project Under restorative , adj. Reverend Mother reverend-like Under reversal , n.
Revised Standard Version Under revitalize , v. Revolutionary War Under revolver , n. Heimlich manoeuvre Heimlich maneuver, n. In addition to these new entries, the following out-of-sequence subordinate entries were added: Under astral , adj. Frenchifying Under general , adj. Generation Yer Under generative , adj.
Geneva motion Under Helmholtz , n. Helmholtz resonator Under hold , v. Technicolor yawn to do also have a also the Technicolor yawn to do a Technicolor yawn to do the Technicolor yawn to have a Technicolor yawn Under techno- , comb.