Linguist Sarah Ogilvie discovered in the course of researching her new book Words of the World that former Oxford English Dictionary editor Robert Burchfield had deleted non-English-sounding words from the publication by the bucketful. From The Guardian:

[Ogilvie] undertook a detailed analysis of Burchfield's supplement, comparing it with the 1933 supplement by Charles Onions and William Craigie. She found that, far from opening up the OED to foreign linguistic influences, Burchfield had deleted 17% of the "loanwords" and world English words that had been included by Onions, who included 45% more foreign words than Burchfield.

Insert obligatory references to Orwell, to the universality of language police, and to people acting like asses when nobody's looking or when they think they got license.

H/T Scandal redefined: Former Oxford English Dictionary editor accused of removing words for being too 'foreign' on the NYDailyNews.

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