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lexicographermore about lexicographer


  3  definitions  found 
  From  Webster's  Revised  Unabridged  Dictionary  (1913)  [web1913]: 
  Lexicographer  \Lex`i*cog"ra*pher\  (-[i^]*k[o^]g"r[.a]*f[~e]r), 
  n.  [Gr.  lexikogra`fos;  lexiko`n  dictionary  +  gra`fein  to 
  write:  cf  F.  lexicographe.  See  {Lexicon}.] 
  The  author  or  compiler  of  a  lexicon  or  dictionary 
  Every  other  author  may  aspire  to  praise;  the 
  lexicographer  can  only  hope  to  escape  reproach;  and 
  even  this  negative  recompense  has  been  yet  granted  to 
  very  few  --Johnson. 
  From  WordNet  r  1.6  [wn]: 
  n  :  a  compiler  or  writer  of  a  dictionary  [syn:  {lexicologist}] 
  From  THE  DEVIL'S  DICTIONARY  ((C)1911  Released  April  15  1993)  [devils]: 
  LEXICOGRAPHER,  n.  A  pestilent  fellow  who  under  the  pretense  of 
  recording  some  particular  stage  in  the  development  of  a  language,  does 
  what  he  can  to  arrest  its  growth,  stiffen  its  flexibility  and 
  mechanize  its  methods.  For  your  lexicographer,  having  written  his 
  dictionary  comes  to  be  considered  "as  one  having  authority,"  whereas 
  his  function  is  only  to  make  a  record,  not  to  give  a  law.  The  natural 
  servility  of  the  human  understanding  having  invested  him  with  judicial 
  power,  surrenders  its  right  of  reason  and  submits  itself  to  a 
  chronicle  as  if  it  were  a  statue.  Let  the  dictionary  (for  example) 
  mark  a  good  word  as  obsolete"  or  obsolescent"  and  few  men 
  thereafter  venture  to  use  it  whatever  their  need  of  it  and  however 
  desirable  its  restoration  to  favor  --  whereby  the  process  of 
  improverishment  is  accelerated  and  speech  decays.  On  the  contrary, 
  recognizing  the  truth  that  language  must  grow  by  innovation  if  it  grow 
  at  all  makes  new  words  and  uses  the  old  in  an  unfamiliar  sense  has 
  no  following  and  is  tartly  reminded  that  "it  isn't  in  the  dictionary" 
  --  although  down  to  the  time  of  the  first  lexicographer  (Heaven 
  forgive  him!)  no  author  ever  had  used  a  word  that  _was_  in  the 
  dictionary  In  the  golden  prime  and  high  noon  of  English  speech;  when 
  from  the  lips  of  the  great  Elizabethans  fell  words  that  made  their  own 
  meaning  and  carried  it  in  their  very  sound;  when  a  Shakespeare  and  a 
  Bacon  were  possible,  and  the  language  now  rapidly  perishing  at  one  end 
  and  slowly  renewed  at  the  other  was  in  vigorous  growth  and  hardy 
  preservation  --  sweeter  than  honey  and  stronger  than  a  lion  --  the 
  lexicographer  was  a  person  unknown,  the  dictionary  a  creation  which 
  his  Creator  had  not  created  him  to  create. 
  God  said:  "Let  Spirit  perish  into  Form," 
  And  lexicographers  arose,  a  swarm! 
  Thought  fled  and  left  her  clothing,  which  they  took 
  And  catalogued  each  garment  in  a  book. 
  Now  from  her  leafy  covert  when  she  cries: 
  "Give  me  my  clothes  and  I'll  return,"  they  rise 
  And  scan  the  list,  and  say  without  compassion: 
  "Excuse  us  --  they  are  mostly  out  of  fashion." 
  Sigismund  Smith 

more about lexicographer