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了解英语历史:词典时代

【 来源:三思英语 作者:34en 编录:34en 热度() 加入收藏

  The history of English in ten minutes. Chapter seven: the age of the dictionary or the definition of a hopeless task.
  10分钟英语历史,第七章:字典时代,或,什么叫做绝望的任务

  With English expanding in all directions, along came a new breed of men called "lexicographers" who wanted to put an end to this anarchy, a word they defined as "What happens when people spell words slightly differently from each other?"
  随着英语的不断扩展,出现了一群字典编撰者,他们致力于改变这种“每个人拼写都略有不同的”混乱状态。

  One of the greatest was Dr Johnson whose "Dictionary of the English Language" took him nine years to write. It was 18 inches tall and contained 42,773 entries meaning that even if you couldn't read, it was still pretty useful if you wanted to reach a high shelf.
  其中最突出的一位是Dr Johnson,他花了9年时间编写了一本英语词典,有18英寸高,收录了42,773条词汇。所以即便你不认字,用它来垫垫脚从架子上拿拿东西还是蛮实用的。

  For the first time when people were calling you a "pickle-herring", a "jobbernowl" or a "fopdoodle", you could understand exactly what they meant. And you'd have the consolation of knowing they were all using the standard spelling.
  你有史以来第一次明白了别人叫你"pickle-herring""jobbernowl" "fopdoodle"(笨蛋)的意思,但知道他们都使用了标准的拼写,你大概还会感到一丝欣慰。

  Try as he might to stop them, words kept being invented and in 1857, a new book was started that would become the Oxford English Dictionary. It took another 70 years to be finished after the first editor resigned to be an archbishop. The second died of TB and the third was so boring that half his volunteers quit and one of them ended up in an asylum.
  不管如何遏制,新词还是不断产生。一本后来成为牛津词典的新书在1857年时开始编撰了,第一任主编辞职当大主教之后,又花了70年才完稿。第二任主编死于肺结核,而第三任主编实在太迂腐,导致半数志愿者辞职不干,其中一个还被关进了精神病院。

  It eventually appeared in 1928 and has continued to be revised ever since, proving the whole idea that you can stop people from making up words is complete "snuffbumble".
  1928年此书终于问世了,之后一再修订,再次证明只有笨蛋才会阻止别人去造词


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