LINGUIST List 32.1251

Fri Apr 09 2021

Books: Women and Dictionary-Making: Russell

Editor for this issue: Billy Dickson <>

Date: 09-Apr-2021
From: Rachel Tonkin <>
Subject: Women and Dictionary-Making: Russell
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Title: Women and Dictionary-Making
Subtitle: Gender, Genre, and English Language Lexicography
Published: 2021
Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Book URL:

Author: Lindsay Rose Russell
Paperback: ISBN: 9781316638194 Pages: Price: U.S. $ 33.99
Paperback: ISBN: 9781316638194 Pages: Price: U.K. £ 25.99
Paperback: ISBN: 9781316638194 Pages: Price: Europe EURO 30.33

Dictionaries are a powerful genre, perceived as authoritative and objective records of the language, impervious to personal bias. But who makes dictionaries shapes both how they are constructed and how they are used. Tracing the craft of dictionary making from the fifteenth century to the present day, this book explores the vital but little-known significance of women and gender in the creation of English language dictionaries. Women worked as dictionary patrons, collaborators, readers, compilers, and critics, while gender ideologies served, at turns, to prevent, secure, and veil women's involvements and innovations in dictionary making. Combining historical, rhetorical, and feminist methods, this is a monumental recovery of six centuries of women's participation in dictionary making and a robust investigation of how the social life of the genre is influenced by the social expectations of gender.

1. Walking dictionary, sleeping dictionary: toward a gendered history of a rhetorical genre; 2. Patronizing dictionaries: invocations of women at the invention of the genre; 3. Compiling dictionaries: lexicography attributable to women and alternative generic traditions; 4. Living with and working for dictionaries: women's contributions and critique as the genre expanded; 5. Reinventing dictionaries: the generic interventions of feminist lexicography.

Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics

Written In: English (eng)

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Page Updated: 09-Apr-2021