W.H. AUDEN—MANIPULATING THE OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY. I have posted on how I have become a believer in usage as the test for both grammar and the meaning of words. Lorien Kite had an article in the Financial Times (November 16-17) on the current progress on updating the Oxford English Dictionary. The OED has always followed usage. (The chief editor says it has “always maintained a purely descriptive line.”) Words are marked with a dagger if they have become obsolete. W.H. Auden, described by Kite as “a mischievous presence at the fringes of the dictionary”, made a habit of using in his poems words that had been marked as obsolete by the OED and then campaigning for their contemporary usage to be recognized by the OED.

This entry was posted in Literature. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.