Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Lifestyles of Lexicographers, Part VII

From the Preface to Souter's A Glossary of Later Latin to A.D. 600:

The preparation of a lexicon of this kind, though tedious, is not without its consolations. Lexicographers can claim to know some of the joys and excitements of explorers. We, too, have often to hack our way through tangled growths. These tangled growths are sometimes tralaticious blunders which have passed undetected, or at least unremoved, through a series of dictionaries. Texts rapidly produced for the press in the fifteenth or sixteenth century, often from late, poor, and interpolated, if readily accessible, manuscripts, have fallen under the eyes of a lexicographer who has duly recorded a word which is not what the author wrote; and this error has been copied by later lexicographers.

No comments: