What a carillon! (was ANZAB Festival)

John Camp camp at ...
Tue Jul 16 13:25:59 BST 2013

At 09:36 on 16 July 2013, Chris Pickford wrote:
> Interesting that the OED offers "Carilloner"

> I'm quite often unsure whether to trust the OED as a definitive guide. I
> feel that their system for picking up on the usage of words sometimes 
> treats misuses as being correct - so words that have been incorrectly 
> used find themselves given authority

Perhaps this isn't the right list for this discussion, but I am
tempted to join issue with Chris.  It's the old, old debate (often
fought out on ringing-chat) about linguistic change.

If we didn't have any change at all, then we would be speaking a quite
different language.  Dictionaries are there primarily to record usage,
not "correctness".  Most dictionaries have a system of noting that a
usage is regarded as sub-standard.  But 30 years ago, if you
introduced someone as your "partner", it would be taken to mean that
you were in business together.  Shouldn't dictionaries record this
kind of change?

To bring the topic back to ringing, there is the word "carillion",
which has never been "correct", but which is widely used.  Should a
dictionary record this?

John Camp


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