Lexicographical prudishness

27 Julho 2014

“James Dixon, a surgeon who contributed many slips to the OED, was shocked when he came across references to “an article called a Cundum” —an older spelling of condom— which he glossed for James Murray as “a contrivance used by fornicators, to save themselves from a well-deserved clap; also by others who wish to enjoy copulation without the possibility of impregnation.” Disturbed by this “very obscene subject,” Dixon made the case that the word was “too utterly obscene” for inclusion in the dictionary. He got his way: the word condom was omitted from the first edition of the OED.
[…] led to the omission of some of the commonest words in the English language” – above all,  fuck and cunt. Both were studiously excluded from The Oxford English Dictionary until the supplement of 1972.”

Lynch, Jack (2009). The Lexicographer’s Dilemma: The Evolution of “Proper” English, from Shakespeare to South Park.  Walker Books, p. 157-158 [Kindle Edition].

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