Tuesday, October 07, 2008

History of Canadian Words

I have and use the Canadian Oxford Dictionary and I'm frequently glad to have it at hand. Small benefit: it has a biographical component, and I sometimes find in it the names of people I actually know -- not something I expect from any other dictionary.

So I was saddened to see Oxford Press (Canada) shutting down the enterprise. They are going to run it from HQ in England with some local freelancers, they say. Yeah, right, that's going to cover the subject.

The remarkable scholarship behind the Canadian Oxford, it seems, has always depended on a private publishing company and the size of the commercial dictionary market. You would think there would be a language department in one of our public universities and an academic publisher somewhere in this country that would think this kind of lexicography worth supporting.

So I'm not ready to demonize online dictionaries for the problem here. I'm a fan of Podictionary, for instance, run by my friend Charles Hodgson in Ottawa
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