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Oxford English Dictionary

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The '''Oxford English Dictionary''' or OED as it is commonly referred to was one of the numerous projects that [[J.R.R. Tolkien]] devoted his time to. Much of his time was spent on the words beginning with the letter "w".
[[Image:J.R.R. Tolkien's letter to the Oxford English Dictioanry.jpg|250px|right|thumb|Tolkien's letter, explaining the entry "Hobbit".]]
{{quote|'''Tolkienian, a.''' Of or pertaining to the philologist and author of fantasy literature John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (1892-1973) or his writings.|Oxford English Dictionary<ref>OED Online, "[ Tolkienian, a.]"</ref>}}
The '''Oxford English Dictionary''' ('''OED'''), or '''New English Dictionary''' as it was called at its initiation, is the standard English dictionary. [[J.R.R. Tolkien]] spent several years as an assistant, and several of his own words and works would be cited in it.
==Early History==
The dictionary project started in 1878. Though it was orignially not a part of the [[University of Oxford]], the institute took over the project later. The sections covering A-H were published by [[1900]], but both the [[World War I|war]] and the death of Sir James Murray, the original editor, in [[1915]] ment that the section U-Z was not complete yet<ref name="BioOxI">[[Humphrey Carpenter]], ''[[J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography]]'', "2: Oxford Interlude"</ref>. After Murray's death, three editors remained: Henry Bradley, William Craigie, and C.T. Onions. Most of their assistants had gone to war and not returned (either not to the Dictionary or not at all), so new assistants were necessary<ref name="RoWTaL">[[Peter Gilliver]], [[Jeffrey Marshall]] and [[Edmund Weiner]], ''[[The Ring of Words|The Ring of Words: Tolkien and the Oxford English Dictionary]], "Tolkien as Lexicographer"</ref>.
==Tolkien and the OED==
==Tolkien in the OED==
==The OED in Tolkien==
The OED makes two appearances in Tolkien's work. The four original editors - Murray, Bradley, Craigie and Onions - were referenced in ''[[Farmer Giles of Ham]]'':
{{quote|Some may well ask what a blunderbuss was. Indeed, this very question, it is said, was put to the Four Wise Clerks of [[Oxenford]], and after thought they replied: 'A Blunderbuss is a short gun with a large bore firing many balls or slugs, and capable of doing execution within a limited range without exact aim. (Now superseded in civilized countries by other firearms.)' |''Farmer Giles of Ham''<ref>[[J.R.R. Tolkien]], [[Wayne G. Hammond]], [[Christina Scull]] (eds.) ''[[Farmer Giles of Ham]]'', page 15 (50th anniversary edition)</ref>}}
Later, in ''[[The Notion Club Papers]]'', the N.E.D. appears:
{{quote|'Yes, ''doink'' has come on a lot lately,' said Lowdham. 'But it's not brand-new, of course. I think it's first recorded, in the Third Supplement to the N.E.D., in the fifties, in the form ''dŏing'': seems to have started in the Air Force in the Six Year's War|[[Arundel Lowdham]]<ref>[[J.R.R. Tolkien]], [[Christopher Tolkien]] (ed.) ''[[Sauron Defeated]]'', "[[The Notion Club Papers (Part Two)]]", page 223-224</ref>}}
== External links==
== External links==
* [ J. R. R. Tolkien and the OED]
* [ J. R. R. Tolkien and the OED]

Revision as of 13:46, 22 September 2008

The Oxford English Dictionary or OED as it is commonly referred to was one of the numerous projects that J.R.R. Tolkien devoted his time to. Much of his time was spent on the words beginning with the letter "w".

External links