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Thursday, 31 January 2013
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Literary sources
Many critics have noted OED's apparent preference for literary sources. Dennis Taylor writes: 'It is a lexicographical truism that...the OED's reliance on literary quotations is problematic because it skews the representative character of the sampling'. One result, he says, is that the OED is 'the greatest of all literary echo-chambers in our language' (Taylor 1993: 6).

The pages listed below outline some of the main issues involved in the OED's fondness for literary sources. Further material (e.g. on writers' reciprocal fondness for dictionaries) can be found in our new section on Writers and the dictionary.

Literature and the lexicon?
Lexicographical reservations

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