MUSIC FROM THE 2017 DSNA CONFERENCE

Brianne Hughes, Katy Isaacs, Lisa Berglund

Three Lexicographers are We

Lisa Berglund

(parody of “Three Little Maids from School are We” from the Mikado by Gilbert and Sullivan

 

Three lexicographers are we

Wise as a wordsmith well can be

Filled to the brim with philology —

Three lexicographers!

 

Ev’ ry word is a source of fun

Decades go by and you’ve just begun

Writing a book that’s never done:

Three lexicographers!

 

Three lexicographers learned, very,

In all the nonsense necessary

For to compile a dictionary

Three lexicographers!

Three lexicographers!

 

One with a king held a dialogue

One in a shed through the slips did slog

One lexicographer writes a blog

Three lexicographers!

 

One did compose Greek and Latin verse

Two: in Phoenician could converse;

Three: is a star in the Twitterverse!

Three lexicographers!

 

Three lexicographers learned, very,

In all the nonsense necessary

For to compile a dictionary

Three lexicographers!

Three lexicographers!

 

When You Use a Dictionary

Lisa Berglund

(parody of “Never Mind the Why and Wherefore” from HMS Pinafore by Gilbert and Sullivan

 

When you use a dictionary

Be judicious and be wary;

Lexicography, I warn you,

Is a complicated trade,

And the product is like sausage

So don’t ask me how it’s made!

 

When you use a dictionary

Be judicious and be wary:

If the word you want is missing

Go ahead–complain and pout.

0ther readers are insisting

That the ed’tors take it out!

 

When you use a dictionary

Be judicious and be wary:

Don’t stop at signification

For you haven’t done your jobs

Till you know the derivation,

And if it’s dial., vulg. or obs.!

 

REFRAIN

Don’t trust Johnson,

Don’t trust  Webster,

Don’t trust Murray’s OED.

Ev’ ry book has an agenda

Even when they all agree!

It is not as one supposes

(Nothing like what one supposes)–

2nd time (It is not a bed of roses)–

They were not engraved by Moses

(No one half as wise as Moses).

2nd time (as perusal soon discloses).

Read the headwords,

check your spelling,

Skim the etymology–

Lexicons have tales worth telling

Sorted out from A to Z!

Read the headwords,

check your spelling,

Learn the codes that here ensconce words.

Lexicons have tales worth telling–

Catachresis, nouns and nonce words!

Hail to lexicography!

Sorting out from A to Z!