Welcome guest. Sign in here

Dictionaries and how they got to be that way

Wednesday 5 February 2020

Join us for our first member meeting of the year (also open to non-members). This is your chance to uncover the mysteries of the seemingly ethereal world of dictionary-making.

Date: Wednesday 5 February 2020
Time: 6:30pm (nibbles and drinks from 6:00pm)
Venue: New Farm Library meeting hall (building to the left of main library), 135 Sydney St, New Farm.
Cost: Members & affiliate members (QWC/AUSIT) $12, Non-members $17.

Join us for dinner afterwards at Bitter Suite restaurant, 2/75 Welsby St, New Farm. Please let our Events Coordinator know if you would like to do so (for numbers): edqld.events@iped-editors.org

Bookings close: 12 pm Wednesday 5 February 2020




Dr James Lambert is a career lexicographer who worked for 15 years with Macquarie Dictionary as an editor. James worked not only on Macquarie's flagship range of Australian dictionaries and thesauruses, but also on dictionaries for learners, children and bad spellers, as well as dictionaries for the Asian market, covering the varied Englishes of Singapore, Malaysia, China, Hong Kong, India, and other places.

James has a doctorate in lexicography and has published numerous academic articles on the art and craft of dictionary-making. He is also a world-renowned expert in Australian slang, having written a number of Australian slang dictionaries, and has more recently begun contributing extensive new material to the Greens Dictionary of Slang online. James is currently working on a specialist dictionary covering the vocabulary of birding and ornithology.


A good dictionary is one of the essential tools of an editor. However, while most people are familiar with dictionaries, few really know much about how they are made, nor, for that matter, who makes them. This talk will reveal how dictionaries came to be the way they are and examine the nuts and bolts of how they are put together, focusing on the most relevant aspects for editors, such as the concept of 'standard' English, the prescriptive/descriptive divide, how words qualify for dictionary entry, how trustworthy dictionaries are, and the pros and cons of online versus print dictionaries, all with a little myth-busting along the way.


Back : Next