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Thursday, 31 January 2013
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Burchfield quoted Joyce around 1,670 times in the Supplement, again for many eccentric usages. For example, he is the only cited user since 1656 and 1668 of the word peccaminous, meaning 'Full of sins, sinful'. The quotations are from Ulysses (1922):
A volume of peccaminous pornographical tendency entitled Sweets of Sin.
And Finnegans Wake (1939):
To put off the barcelonas from their peccaminous corpulums.
Burchfield annotates the entry thus: 'It is the kind of word that Joyce may have picked up from the O.E.D.' Is this a lexicographical loop? Was Burchfield right to pour poetry, or usages of this sort, into the Supplement? Will the OED3 lexicographers pursue the same policy as Burchfield or will they make changes? See Supplement and Lexicographical reservations.

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