[Bell Historians] What a carillon! (was ANZAB Festival)

Chris Pickford c.j.pickford.t21 at ...
Tue Jul 16 13:43:03 BST 2013

No quibbles at all, actually - and no need to prolong it. I completely 
agree with John that a) the OED records usage (not correctness), b) that 
language evolves and the meaning of words changes (and new words come 
into being), and c) that it's right for dictionaries to reflect that

All I was suggesting is that it's possible for a word to be given 
authority when it had been misused used in the first place - i.e. not a 
genuine new usage. I was simply questioning whether the filter 
mechanisms used by the OED are sufficiently robust at filtering out 
words / changes that don't really reflect new meanings / concepts or uses

Carilloner sounds to me like a word that shouldn't have got through the 


On 16/07/2013 13:25, John Camp wrote:
> 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

Chris Pickford 4 Walmsley Court, High Street, Kinver, DY7 6HG Tel: 01384 
878435 or (mobile) 07811 453525 E-mail: c.j.pickford at ... or 
(interchangeably) c.j.pickford.t21 at ...
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