I was recently told to compare the microstructure of two dictionaries in my very exciting lexicography class which makes me question WHY is it that I like lexicography so much, specially etymology.
The dictionaries chosen at will:
Collins English Dictionary Fourth Edition updated 2000. According to the blurb: 21st Century Edition
and The New Britannica-Webster Dictionary and Reference Guide 1981
The query: Compare the microstructure of the two dictionaries:
I took the entry: rest
· This word has a superscript number for the headword to the right of the word. The dictionary indicates that all homographs are so treated.
· Word class is marked by italized abbreviation and if a word has more than one part of speech it is separated from others by a lozenge
· Pronunciation transcription according to the IPA is provided
· Senses are numbered and if there is more than one sense within the same number an alphabetical order is attached to the number.
· Fixed noun phrases are given full headword status
· Etymology comes at the last of the definition of the word which is indicated by bold brackets [ ] and according to the Guide to the Use of the Dictionary, ‘ The Etymologies show the history of the word both in English … and in its pre-English source languages.’
· This word has a superscript number for the headword to the left of the word. The dictionary indicates in its section titled Using The Dictionary that ‘The order of homographs is historical.’
· Pronunciation transcription is provided right after the boldface entry word is shown.
· Word class is marked by italized abbreviation. If the word has another part of speech it is given a separate entry.
· Following the word, pronunciation and word class, the Britannica-Webster offers synonym paragraphs because according to the dictionary ‘[they] help the reader discriminate among a number of similar and often confused words.’
· Senses are numbered and if there is more than one sense within the same number an alphabetical order is attached although the number does not follow and the alphabetical letter stands alone. Every definition in the Britannica-Webster is set off by a boldface colon whether or not there is a number before it. When a meaning has multiple variations, the meanings are given according to their historical status with the oldest recorded meaning having first status and newest ones last status.
· What Collins refers to as idioms the Britannica-Webster refers to as run-on entries and they do not have headword status in this dictionary, nor much by way of distinguishing them either, they are ‘ … the last element of many entries.’
· Etymology is in square brackets following the definition. In the etymology, the entry’s history is in italics and its definition in quotations marks.