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Source: (consider it) Thread: sectarian lexicographical colonisations
Stetson
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The dictionary I use for teaching my ESL classes is the American Heritage Dictionary Of The English Language, 1971 edition, which I inherited from a previous teacher. Overall, a very thorough and coherent piece of lexicography.

However...

The entry for "God" includes the following for Meaning #4...

'4.Christian Science "Infinite Mind; Spirit; Soul; Principle; Life; Truth; Love." (Mary Baker Eddy)'

I can't imagine I'm the only user of this dictionary who raised an eyebrow at that. In addition to the fact that it's rather irregular to have a direct quote, unaccompanied by anything else, as a definition, there's also the question as to whether or not the definition given is in common enough usage to justify including it in the entry. Christian Scientists these days have enough trouble getting the public to distinguish them from Scientology, let alone pushing Mrs. Eddy's explanation of God into everday parlance, and I can't imagine they were that much more succesful in the early 70s.

On a hunch, I turned to the defintion of "Mind", and found the following(can't recall the number)...

'Capital M. Christian Science. The Deity, regarded as the perfect intelligence ruling over all creation.'

Well, at least that one isn't just a direct quote, AND it is immediately followed by a "Catholic" definition, ie. "A Roman Catholic mass said in remembrance of a deceased person, often held one month or one year after his death."

So, I guess they can't be accused of honouring Christian Science with special inclusion, though that particular "Catholic" usage is unknown to me(born and raised RC), and I can't help but wondering if it was just put in to justify the inclusion of the Christian Science installment immediately beforehand.

The "Consultants" section of the front pages includes "Allison W. Phinney" who apparently is "Supervisor, Editorial Division, The First Church Of Christ, Scientist, Boston Mass." Boston also being(total coincidence, I'm sure) the headquarters of Houghton Mifflin, the book's publisher.

Partly, I'm just posting this as an intriguing oddity, as this seems like the best website to find an interested audience for that sort of thing. But I'm also curious as to whether people think the inclusion of Christian Science definitions is as much of a stretch as I think it is. I mean, it COULD be argued that if the dictionary includes(as I'm sure it does) definitons that are peculiar to more established faiths(Catholicism, Islam etc), there is no reason it shouldn't include those proferred by the smaller faiths as well.

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I have the power...Lucifer is lord!

Posts: 6446 | From: back and forth between bible belts | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
Stetson
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TL/DR:

My fairly prestigious dictionary contains defintions for "God" and "Mind" that are specific to the Christian Science religion. Does anyone else find that a little bit odd?

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I have the power...Lucifer is lord!

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Marvin the Martian

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quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:
On a hunch, I turned to the defintion of "Mind",

...

"A Roman Catholic mass said in remembrance of a deceased person, often held one month or one year after his death."

...

that particular "Catholic" usage is unknown to me

At my previous church (C of E) they always used to have the "Year's Mind" for people whose anniversary of death fell during that week as part of the intercessions. Not a full mass, granted, but enough to make me question if it's as obscure a usage as you imply.

I'll happily accept that it's a very archaic usage of the word [Big Grin]

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Stetson
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quote:
I'll happily accept that it's a very archaic usage of the word [Big Grin]


Yeah, I'd be curious to check out dictionaries of similar sstanding and vintage, to see if they include that definition of "Mind".

I grew up post-V2, in a pretty "assimilated" Catholic parish, so there were probably a lot of practices and phrasings that I wasn't exposed to. I'd imagine that the general idea behind a "mind" service was not entirely unknown.

[ 30. November 2016, 15:37: Message edited by: Stetson ]

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I have the power...Lucifer is lord!

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
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quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:
TL/DR:

My fairly prestigious dictionary contains defintions for "God" and "Mind" that are specific to the Christian Science religion. Does anyone else find that a little bit odd?

Not really. I've always understood the purpose of a dictionary to be to record all meanings of a given word, not just the most common ones.

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Stetson
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:
TL/DR:

My fairly prestigious dictionary contains defintions for "God" and "Mind" that are specific to the Christian Science religion. Does anyone else find that a little bit odd?

Not really. I've always understood the purpose of a dictionary to be to record all meanings of a given word, not just the most common ones.
Well, I don't neccessarily think you have to subscribe to "just the most common ones" to think that some are so "uncommon" as to not merit inclusion. The Jehovah's Witnesses, for example, use "publisher" to mean the people who go door-to-door handing out the Watchtower. I'd be very ssurprised to see that definition in any mainstream dictionary.

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I have the power...Lucifer is lord!

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
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quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:
quote:
I'll happily accept that it's a very archaic usage of the word [Big Grin]


Yeah, I'd be curious to check out dictionaries of similar sstanding and vintage, to see if they include that definition of "Mind".
I imagine it's related to the non-religious definition of "mind" as "remember" (as in "mind you don't trip on that slab").

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Golden Key
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Is the dictionary one for individual use, or a big one for libraries? Versions often abound. Paperback dictionaries may be abridged.

If you want to compare dictionaries, try Refdesk. Great resource. You might find the sitemap the easiest way to get around. YMMV.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

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Stetson
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quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
Is the dictionary one for individual use, or a big one for libraries? Versions often abound. Paperback dictionaries may be abridged.

If you want to compare dictionaries, try Refdesk. Great resource. You might find the sitemap the easiest way to get around. YMMV.

Well, put it this way. The definitions alone take up 1491 pages, over 27 cm each, and it's a hardcover. So, definitely not something you're gonna be toting about in your knapsack.

The Usage Panel/Consultants include Barbara Tuchman, Langston Hughes, Dwight MacDonald, and Langston Hughes, among others luminaries. Like I said, definitely a prestige item.

Thanks for the link. I'll check it out.

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Arethosemyfeet
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
At my previous church (C of E) they always used to have the "Year's Mind" for people whose anniversary of death fell during that week as part of the intercessions. Not a full mass, granted, but enough to make me question if it's as obscure a usage as you imply.

I'll happily accept that it's a very archaic usage of the word [Big Grin]

It's certainly a usage I grew up with in fairly MOTR CofE.
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Stetson
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quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
Is the dictionary one for individual use, or a big one for libraries? Versions often abound. Paperback dictionaries may be abridged.

If you want to compare dictionaries, try Refdesk. Great resource. You might find the sitemap the easiest way to get around. YMMV.

Huh. Merriam-Webster includes the Christian Science definition second from the top.

Oxford does not, and neither, interestingly enough, does the current edition of American Heritage.

I'll note that Merriam-Webster, like American Heritage, is also headquartered in Massachusetts, but not Boston.

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Barnabas62
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Looks like a rather silly abuse of editorial power to me.

But you get that. IIRC, the eagle eyed spotted some partisan editing at work in the Nearly Infallible Version of the Bible. Scholarship can get tainted in this sort of way.

I think it's a kind of stupidity. Once something is published it's available for general scrutiny. Sure there will be some lazy acceptance for a period but uncovering of bits of jiggery-pokery is inevitable in the end.

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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:

The Jehovah's Witnesses, for example, use "publisher" to mean the people who go door-to-door handing out the Watchtower. I'd be very surprised to see that definition in any mainstream dictionary.

They are probably publishers in defamation law.

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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Amanda B. Reckondwythe

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quote:
Originally posted by Arethosemyfeet:
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
At my previous church (C of E) they always used to have the "Year's Mind" for people whose anniversary of death fell during that week.

It's certainly a usage I grew up with in fairly MOTR CofE.
My RC upbringing included the notion of a "Month's Mind" mass on the one-month anniversary of a person's death.

As a sectarian lexicographical anomaly, the use of "worship" to mean music exclusively has always bothered me. Quite some time ago another thread offered the quote: "There were no musicians present at today's service, so there was no worship." Odd.

[ 03. December 2016, 11:19: Message edited by: Amanda B. Reckondwythe ]

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"Stop your noisy songs; I do not want to listen to your praise bands." -- Amos 5:23, Good News Bible (modified)

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Amanda B. Reckondwythe

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quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:
The Usage Panel/Consultants include Barbara Tuchman, Langston Hughes, Dwight MacDonald, and Langston Hughes, among others luminaries. Like I said, definitely a prestige item.

Especially if Langston Hughes had two votes.

[Miss Amanda will get her wrap.]

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"Stop your noisy songs; I do not want to listen to your praise bands." -- Amos 5:23, Good News Bible (modified)

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bib
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I would venture to suggest that you use a better dictionary such as Chambers.

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"My Lord, my Life, my Way, my End, accept the praise I bring"

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Stetson
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quote:
Originally posted by bib:
I would venture to suggest that you use a better dictionary such as Chambers.

Well, this is the one I inherited, and I doubt that in Korea I'd be able to find something as comprehensive at an affordable price(I don't do on-line purchases, and anyway the school would probably not reimburse me). Plus, not that my boss or my students would really care, but ESL teachers here are more often than not expected to go with American spellings and usages.

And, apart from one or two bows to the idiosyncrasies of Mrs. Eddy, it's not a bad dictionary at all.

And I still kind of amused by the fact that that particular definition has apparently migrated from one dictioary to another. I'm imagining a phone conversation between the editors of American Heritage and the editors of Webster's...

"Hey, it's Mike from Heritage here. Listen, we're about fed up with having to appease the Christian Scientists. You think you could take them off our hands for a few editions? (pause) No, no, we TRIED Oxford. They muttered something about Tom Cruise and hung up."

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Lyda*Rose

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On Dictionary.com the Christian Science definition is included in definition 5.

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"Dear God, whose name I do not know - thank you for my life. I forgot how BIG... thank you. Thank you for my life." ~from Joe Vs the Volcano

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