After a plethora of winter come spring columns, we yearned for something a bit different. For a slight change in tone, we have opted to post what we affectionately refer to as a "word column"... today's "word" being Pilgrim. This was originally published on July 3rd of 2012. Please enjoy.
Three days of much needed rain. Nothing to do outside and so I took a few choice moments to go digging in the dictionary – the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), one of the greatest works of scholarship ever produced in the western world. No other language has a dictionary like it.
I have a special fondness for this huge work (22 volumes in print), partly because I added a word to it myself, not long ago. I had been reading (on line) the text of a religious treatise written in the sixteenth century and came across an unfamiliar word. Turning to the OED online I was surprised not to find an entry for the word in question. So, I wrote an email to Oxford, mentioning the word in question and where I found it and quoting the passage in which it appeared. I sent it off, never expecting to hear more, but feeling virtuous for having sent it. Two days later I had an email from one of the staff saying that although the work I was looking at had been studied carefully long before, somehow the word I had queried had been overlooked. Although there are scads of “new” words coming into the language every day – Google as a verb for example – the word I had queried would be added to the “very small” list of old words not already in the dictionary.
Words & Images
We moved to our farm in Sussex, New Brunswick from Toronto in 1977, only moving away in 2014.