A lexicographer says she has found that thousands of words have been deleted from the Oxford English Dictionary by one of its former editors. Sarah Ogilvie's "Words of the World," which is forthcoming from Cambridge University Press, claims that the words were removed for being overly foreign.
For logophiles, this is a tragedy (a lamentable, dreadful, or fatal event or affair; calamity; disaster).
"This is really shocking. If a word gets into the OED, it never leaves. If it becomes obsolete, we put a dagger beside it, but it never leaves," Ogilvie told the Guardian.
The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) has been published since 1884, and it endeavors to not just include all English words but to trace their origins. It includes first usages and changes in meaning -- it makes sense that it also includes words that have fallen out of usage. Not sure what that word in a Charles Dickens novel means? Check the OED. It'll be there. At least, it should be.
Ogilvie compared OED supplements from 1933 and 1972 and found that the 1972 edition, which claimed to open up the language more broadly, had actually omitted 17% of the "loan words" from the 1933 edition. "Loan words" are those that have been adapted from or borrowed from other languages, such as "taco." Mmmm, taco.