Germanic Lexicon Project
Author: Sean Crist (Nuance Communications)
Email: kurisuto at panix dot com
Date: 2015-01-13 20:24:34
Subject: Re: History of B&T at GLP
> Thank you for replying. Yes it is a bit unusual! I am researching the
> etymology of 'onion' and I am surprised that the the OED does not
> even mention the OE words in B&T that are clearly cognate. They would be
> difficult to find in the paper edition as you might not look under e, y or h!
> So the question is would a researcher have been able, at that date, to find the
> words (eneleác, enneleác, ynne-leác, yna) by searching for
> 'onion' in the digital version as you can easily now. These are of
> course words you are very unlikely to learn on an OE course as they occur only
> in glosses, word lists and a very obscure part of the Bible.
> Please don't go to any great trouble, but I was hoping that if the text
> files (that is says were updated weekly) were lying in one folder then I
> might be able to see if the word 'onion' was in the appropriate
> places without errors so that it could be found.
> Of course, even if the data was available, there is the question of when
> researchers actually realized that it was better than the paper version and
> started using it!
Maybe your point was simply about the text being searchable. However, there's another possible reading of what you wrote here.
The intent of the project is to digitize the dictionaries as they exist on paper. The electronic text should exactly match what's on the paper, or at least as nearly as the limits of the electronic encoding allow. Even if something in the original text is clearly wrong, we digitize it as it stands.
I think there have been some cases where folks misunderstood, and thought that the intent was to produce a newly revised edition of the text (as opposed to a merely digitized one). Consequently, I think there have been cases where folks added what they considered to be corrections or improvements to the original text.
So, if there are differences between the original page and the digitized text with regard to the content for the entry for "onion", this should be considered a mistake in the digitization process.