The Story of Webster's Third: Philip Gove's Controversial Dictionary and Its Critics
The publication of Webster's Third New International Dictionary in 1961 set off a storm of controversy both in the popular press and in scholarly journals that was virtually unprecedented in its scope and intensity. The New York Times ridiculed the new dictionary's alleged failure to label slang in a now-famous editorial that began, "A passel of double-domes at the G. & C. Merriam Company joint in Springfield, Mass., have been confabbing and yakking for twenty-seven years...and now they have finalized...a new edition of a swell and esteemed book." The attack was joined by Life magazine, the Saturday Review, the Atlantic, the New Yorker, and other magazines and newspapers across the country. Critics charged that Webster's Third had abandoned its responsibility to uphold standards of good English and that it would encourage permissiveness in the teaching of English. Rejoinders by the dictionary's editor, Philip Babcock Gove, and sympathetic journalists and scholars had little effect. Herbert Morton tells the story from the beginning, drawing on new sources: Gove's papers, the files of the publisher, and interviews with former staff members and participants in the controversy. He describes how the Third Edition was planned and put together by Gove, where it went astray, and how it was misunderstood and misinterpreted by its detractors. Later assessments showed that its flaws were exaggerated. It has come to be regarded by virtually all language experts as one of the great dictionaries of our time. This is a very human story as well as the first full account of an extraordinary episode in the annals of lexicography. The issues it brought to the fore are still alive and will be of interestto all those fascinated by the English language and by how it is recorded in our dictionaries.
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If you're not the kind of person who is fascinated with words for their own sake, in all their colors and shapes and flavors, from the patricians of ancient lineage to tomorrow's guttersnipe, you'll probably think that this book is on the read-aloud A-list for the loudspeakers of hell. However, • if you have an appetite for a meticulously researched, annotated, and indexed narrative account of the controversial 1961 dictionary, its history, and its aftermath, • if you want to read about the dictionary wars of the tumultuous sixties, • if the very idea of dictionary wars casts a somewhat unwholesome spell over you, • if you've wondered how in the world dictionary editors decide what is a real word and what isn't, and • if you have an opinion about whether "ain't" ought to appear in a respectable dictionary, put this volume on your reading list. Especially if you've been reading Simon Winchester.
The Best of Times and the Worst A Prologue
Goves Formative Years The Road to Springfield
File Cards and Imaginary Voyages
Among the Johnsonians in London and Oxford
Goves First Foray
Travels with the Navy
The Word Spreads
The Quagmire of Aint
The Relevance of Fowler
An Early Balance Sheet
A Closer Look at the Publicity Strategy
The Controversy Heats Up
Thunder from the Times
The Merriam and Webster Legacies
The Merriam Tradition
The War of the Dictionaries
The Frustrating Search for Leadership
On Track at Last
The New Editor Takes Hold
Deciding What to Omit
Limiting the Boards Role
In Full Command
The Meaning of Words Definers at Work
Changes in Meaning
Tendencies in the Drift of Meaning
A New Style of Defining
Lauds and Sneers and More Dos and Donts
The Role of Citations
The Origins of Words The Etymologists Task
Guidelines for Websters Third
The Treatment of Loanwords
The Vocabulary of Science
Dealing with Uncertainty
Etymology and the Word That Wasnt
The Sound of Words and Other Matters
From Websters Second to the Third
The Great Eavesdropper
Signs of Slippage
Getting into Type
Usage and Final Tasks
Correctness and the Purists
The Loom of Competition
The Bumpy Road to the Finish Line
Zyzzogeton at Last
Will It Sell?
Early Returns The Fuse Is Lit
Friendly Critics in the Press
Calamity or Calumny?
Sabotage in Springfield
The Fallout from Follett
But Whats a Dictionary For?
The Word from Britain
The Times Takes Another Look
Macdonalds and Sledd Face Off
The Clash of Views
Commercial Intrusions Trademarks Takeover Threats Competition
The Worth of a Name
Hostile and Friendly
The Usage Panel as Competition
At Issue A Way of Life
Ripostes Here and There
The Chimera of Politics
A Linguist Responds
The Judgment of Peers
The Word List
Colloquial and Other Labels
The Persistent Critic and the Second Battle of Aint
Gove and Websters Third The Legacy
Deja Vu and Plus Ca Change
A Lasting Influence
A Change in the Critical Climate
The Maturing Treatment of Usage
Websters Third after Three Decades
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The Story of Webster's Third. Philip Gove's Controversial Dictionary and its Critics. HERBERT C. MORTON. The publication of Webster's thirdnew International ...
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The lexicographical world has sustained another seri-. ous loss. Herbert Morton, author of the critically approved. The Story of Webster’s Third: Philip ...
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Dord, the ghost word in Websters
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Four Short Stories about the Reference Work
In Morton's (1994) The Story of Webster's Third: Philip Gove's Controversial Dictionary and Its Critics, he writes of the contested reception of the ...
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Morton Herbert C.: The Story Of Webster's Third | ISBN ...
This is the first full account of the controversy surrounding the publication of Webster's Third New International Dictionary in 1961
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The story of webster's third philip gove's controversial dictionary and its critics. Auteur(s) : MORTON Date de parution: 10-1994 Langue : ANGLAIS ...
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The story of webster's third philip gove's controversial dictionary and its critics. Author(s) : MORTON Publication date : 10-1994 Language : ENGLISH ...
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