Date: Mon, 5 Feb 1996 15:10:04 -0400



Today (February 6th) is the 101st anniversary of the birth of ERIC PARTRIDGE

(1894-1979). English lexicographer; editor of many dictionaries of slang.

His best known work is _A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English_

(1937; 9th edition 1984). He was one of the most successful full-time

independent lexicographers in the 20th Century.

February 7th: One of the most productive dates in the history of English

lexicography. Born on this date were:

1837: Sir James Augustus Henry MURRAY (1837-1915). Scottish lexicographer;

the principal editor of _The Oxford English Dictionary_. He planned the work

and was responsible for the volumes A-D, H-K, O, P, and T (together

constituting more than half of the book). The OED is now universally

recognized as the single most important dictionary of the English language.

It has been twice updated and once coalesced.

1857: Benjamin Eli SMITH (1857-1913). American lexicographer, managing editor

and subsequently editor-in-chief, of _The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia_

(1894 et seq.).

1777: John PICKERING (1777-1846). American philologist (son of Timothy

Pickering, Secretary of State for Presidents George Washington and John

Adams). He published _Vocabulary; or Collection of Words and Phrases, which

Have Been Supposed to be Peculiar to the United States of America_ (1816), a

Greek-English lexicon (1826), and _Remarks on the Indian Languages of North

America_ (1836).

On Friday February 9th we celebrate the anniversary of the birth of William

Dwight WHITNEY (1827-1894). American philologist and lexicographer, first

editor-in-chief of _The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia_. [See Smith,

above] He was professor of Sanskrit at Yale College and the first president

of the American Philological Society. Although appearing roughly at the same

time as the OED, Whitney recognized the ijmportance of technical vocabulary, a

type of word Murray had been warned not to embrace too hastily.

More later, stay tuned!

David K. Barnhart