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Showing posts from November, 2014

Word of the Month: Gagging, queasy and squeamish

Writing a dictionary is a never-ending process. As editors we are constantly moving forward through the dictionary, revising the original entries and adding new ones, currently for the letters P and Q. However, new research, new editions and new perspectives can cause us to return to earlier, completed entries and rethink them. As last month’s entry showed, the addition of semantic tags prompted some rewriting of entries so that overlapping semantic fields can be made more evident and more easily searched through the tagging system. A similar rewriting process has been inspired by incorporation of links to other dictionaries, which can highlight words that don’t belong to the etymon once believed. The original entry for gagé (not present in the first print edition, but added in the online second edition, in 2005) defined estre gagé de as ‘to be inclined to refuse to’. This was illustrated by a single citation: E pur enducer le beyre, metés un poy de sucre ou licoris pur se