Erstwhile DSNA member Barry Popik is profiled in an entertaining story in the Dallas Morning News, which describes how he "pores over digitized archives for the origins of such hardy Americanisms as 'hot dog,' 'hamburger,' 'The Big Apple,' and his latest project, the name of the city of Dallas." DSNA members Jesse Sheidlower and Grant Barrett are also heard from. For more of Popik's work, visit http://www.barrypopik.com/.
Cribbed shamelessly from the Visual Thesaurus: "Last month, the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin announced that it had acquired a dictionary owned by David Foster Wallace, as part of its extensive Wallace archive. Wallace's copy of the American Heritage Dictionary was full of words that the late writer had circled. The Ransom Center released a sampling of Wallace's circled words, but now Slate's Browbeat blog has revealed the complete list."
I couldn't find an illustration of Wallace's dictionary marginalia but here's his annotation to Don Delillo's Players,from the Ransom Center website:
And here's a link to a long review, "Tense Present Democracy, English, and the Wars over Usage," which Wallace wrote back in April 2001 for Harper's Magazine. He discusses A Dictionary of Modern American Usage, by Bryan A. Garner; A Dictionary of Modern English Usage, by H. W. Fowler; The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language, by Steven Pinker; Webster's Dictionary of English Usage, edited by E. W. Gilman; Usage and Abusage: A Guide to Good English, by Eric Partridge; and Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, edited by Philip Gore.
According to Radio New Zealand International's website, a new bilingual Samoan-English Dictionary has been published as a result of forty years work. The book, Tusi’upu Samoa, was born out of a doctor’s frustration at not being able to communicate with his Samoan patients in New Zealand. You can read the entire story here.
The Division of Preservation and Access of the National Endowment for the Humanities will be accepting applications for grants in its Humanities Collections and Reference Resources program. These grants support projects to preserve and create intellectual access to such collections as books, journals, manuscript and archival materials, maps, still and moving images, sound recordings, art, and objects of material culture.
Awards also support the creation of reference materials, online resources, and research tools of major importance to the humanities. Maximum awards are $350,000 for up to three years.
Eligible activities particularly relevant to DSNA folks include arranging and describing archival and manuscript collections; digitizing collections, or preserving and improving access to born-digital resources; developing databases, virtual collections, or other electronic resources to codify information on a subject field or to provide integrated access to selected humanities materials; creating encyclopedias; preparing linguistic tools, such as historical and etymological dictionaries, corpora, and reference grammars (separate funding is available for endangered language projects in partnership with the National Science Foundation) and designing digital tools to facilitate use of humanities resources.
The new guidelines, which include sample proposal narratives, can be found here. The application receipt deadline of July 15, 2010 is for projects beginning May 2011. All applications to NEH must be submitted electronically through Grants.gov; see guidelines for details.
Prospective applicants seeking further information are encouraged to contact the Division at 202-606-8570 or email@example.com. Program staff will read draft proposals submitted six weeks before the deadline. A list of the 2009 awards is available.
The Endangered Languages and Dictionaries Project at the University of Cambridge investigates ways of writing dictionaries that better facilitate the maintenance and revitalization of endangered languages. It explores the relationship between documenting a language and sustaining it, and entails collaboration with linguists, dictionary-makers and educators, as well as members of endangered-language communities themselves, in order to determine what lexicographic methodologies work particularly well pedagogically for language maintenance and revitalization.
In addition to developing a methodology for writing dictionaries that are more community-focussed and collaborative in their making, content, and format, the Project is creating an online catalogue of dictionary projects around the world. If you would like your dictionary to be included in the catalogue, please fill out the Dictionary Survey or contact Sarah Ogilvie at firstname.lastname@example.org.