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Thursday, 31 January 2013
Home arrow Types of source arrow 18th-century arrow Jean Adam
Reading and recording
Initial note
The following pages in this section of EOED report potential additions to OED evidence garnered from reading a variety of texts by female authors of the (long) eighteenth century over 2009, completed before OED3's quarterly update of 10 December 2009 and checked against OED2 and OED3 up to that date. This page contains:

List of texts read
Jane Adam:
  • Miscellany Poems, 1734
  • 'There's Nae Luck About the House' (variously spelt): see discussion of editions here

Penelope Aubin:
Anna Seward:
Jane Austen:
Mary Wortley Montagu:
A. L. Barbauld:
  • Details to follow

Anne Radcliffe:
  • The Italian (details to follow)

Reading and recording conventions; additional observations
  • EOED Tables refer to the various editions of OED either as OED1, OED2, OED3 as appropriate, or to Burchfield's 1972-86 Supplement or the Additions volumes. For explanation and description of these successive versions of the Dictionary, see EOED pages on OED editions. It is frequently the case that entries or information in OED2 is repeated exactly from OED1, and in these instances the term OED1/2 is used.

  • The texts listed above were read by Charlotte Brewer over 2009 (i.e. before OED3's quarterly update of 10 December 2009) in an attempt to identify, by consultation of the editions of OED listed above, words and senses not recorded in OED or not recorded in the period in which the text was published, along with ante- and post-datings to the OED record.

  • Texts unavailable to the first OED readers and editors clearly could not have been taken into account in OED1 (worked on 1860-1928 and published 1884-1928). The same applies to the successive volumes of the main twentieth-century Supplement (worked on 1957-86 and published 1972-86), which subsumed the material in the first Supplement of 1933. For further discussion see EOED pages at Reading and readers.

  • Research has shown that 'sources already scrutinized [for OED], and even relatively thoroughly excerpted, may nevertheless be productive of much more material', and that 'the fact of a book's having already been read [for OED] is simply no guide to what useful data might still be found in it, unless it can be shown to have been exhaustively excerpted as in the case of Shakespeare' (McConchie 1997: 155, 177-8); see our account of Technical problems involved in reading for the first edition of the Dictionary. Anyone who has read for the today's OED knows that readers continue to be fallible, as engagingly recounted in Wexler 1981. Here the experienced and productive reader Peter Wexler described reading The Journals and Letters of Fanny Burney (Madame D'Arblay), ed. J. Hemlow and others (Oxford, 1972-84) for the OED 'in shameful ignorance of J. N. Waddell's "Additions to O.E.D. from the writings of Fanny Burney"', Notes & Queries (1980) 27-32. On checking his findings with Waddell's after the event, he discovered that 'only about 20% of the items were common to both lists. How could I possibly have failed to check the borrowings bavardage, cuisinière, opera buffa, pas seul, the derivatives diminisher, appeasable, the ordinary-looking follow-up, M.P.? How did he miss the derivatives correspondentially, curtainless, the ordinary-looking feel at home, brown paper parcel, two-bedded? In both cases, "etc." - all too easily.'

  • The same applies to the reading undertaken for EOED. It is certain that the sources read for EOED are likely to yield more material on further examination, and that many noteworthy usages will have been missed.
Last Updated ( Monday, 05 May 2008 )
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