THE DICTIONARY OF NEWFOUNDLAND ENGLISH: AN EPISODE IN BOOK HISTORY

Jeff A. Webb

Abstract


IN THE FALL OF 1982 the Dictionary of Newfoundland English (DNE) arrived in bookshops. It was the culmination of about 30 years of effort on the part of George Story, William Kirwin and John Widdowson, and was the greatest single work of Newfoundland scholarship of the twentieth century. Elsewhere (Webb 2012) I have traced the origins and evolution of the lexicographic project that culminated in the DNE. In this essay, I highlight several little-known aspects of the history of this book during the period that Story, Kirwin and Widdowson prepared the manuscript for the publisher. Although they continued to collect data, by the mid 1970s most of their effort was devoted to editing the dictionary, negotiating the publication process, and preparing the introduction. The DNE was received with enthusiasm by academic reviewers and the public alike, something which the authors did not know would happen as they prepared their text.

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