Member News Spring 2021

Lynne Murphy has just started work as the editor of Dictionaries. (See her article elsewhere in this issue on what this means to her.) She will welcome any submissions, inquiries, or suggestions regarding the journal; email

Kory Stamper plays a prominent role in Netflix’s new series History of Swear Words. Each episode of the series, hosted by Nicholas Cage, features Stamper and other expert guests discussing a given profane or obscene word from linguistic, historic, psychological, and sociological perspectives, interspersed with segments in which well-known comedians riff on the use of those particular words in contemporary culture. 

Dictionary Day (October 16–-also Noah Webster’s birthday) was celebrated on our News page by the cover image for a book edited by Sarah Ogilvie.

The book is dedicated to Madeline Kripke. The link below will take you to a Word file containing the table of contents:

Vince McCarren on his edition of the Medulla: “Up from the depths with news that I’ve just revised all of P, Q, and R and will be sending it to Mimi for the refinements of hyper-text. In short order, I hope, it will be entered. P was a devil of a word and a long one; and so it goes!”  

Lise Winer recommends The Liar’s Dictionary: A Novel, by Eley Williams. (William Heinemann, 2020).  Two lexicographers, Peter and Mallory, one hundred years apart, are working on a so-far unfinished dictionary.  Mallory discovers mountweazels, and we find that Peter had been placing them there.  This is a charming, funny and heroic tale of lexicographers at work.

Table of Contents Spring 2021

Member News about Lynne Murphy. Kory Stamper, Sarah Ogilvie, Vincent McCarren, and job opportunities at Cambridge University Press

Conferences: details of our 2021 remote conference and Lise Winer’s list of other meetings

DSNA: Wendalyn Nichols’s Publication Committee report, news about our new forum and payment system, and Sarah Ogilvie’s Globalex reports

Journal Transition: greetings from Lynne Murphy and appreciation of Edward Finegan

Collection of Rachel Fletcher, winner of the David Murray Book Collecting Prize

Dictionaries: a new column by Janet DeCesaris

Biography of John Morse by Peter Sokolowski

Book Preservation by Michael Hancher

Education: instruction in dictionaries by Anne Curzan

History: a new column by Michael Adams

State of Lexicography: Defining Moments by Orin Hargraves

Quotations: Ships that Pass in the Night by Elizabeth Knowles

Publication Information

New payment software

We have changed with how we process member payments. Due to steep increases in the fees that PayPal and WildApricot charge us to process payments, we have decided to switch payment platforms and save money there rather that pass those increases along to our members. This means that all automatic renewals currently in our system will have to be cancelled and reinstated on the new payment platform. We know this is a hassle, and will remind you when we send our our standard renewal letter that you will need to sign up for automatic renewals once more this year. If you have any questions about this, email the office at and we’ll help get your renewal sorted.


DSNA 23. President Elizabeth Knowles and the DSNA executive board are pleased to announce that DSNA’s 23rd biennial meeting will take place virtually on Friday, June 4th, 2021. Save the date for an exciting meeting, different in structure from previous DSNA biennials! Further details to come soon.

DSNA 24. To maintain DSNA’s history of meeting in odd-numbered years, the meeting previously scheduled for 2021 at the University of Colorado, Boulder will instead take place in 2023 at that university.

ELEXIS tools and services

17 ELEXIS partners are constantly developing and improving ELEXIS tools and services for lexicography.

We are constantly enriching our resources to enable smart research not only for lexicographers and researches in Natural Language Processing, but also for teachers and other professionals without formal training in lexicography. And what better way to start off a new school year than with newly developed resources?

Below, you can find a comprehensive overview of all open-access resources that are currently available. The newest ones are listed first, but you can find a quick list of all resources right here:

  • OneClick Dictionary
  • Clusty
  • Elexifier
  • VerbAtlas
  • SyntagNet
  • SketchEngine
  • Lexonomy
  • Elexifinder
  • Lexicographic newsfeed

New Editor of Dictionaries

The Executive Board of DSNA is delighted to announce that Lynne Murphy has been appointed as the next Editor of Dictionaries, to take over the role when Ed Finegan steps down next year. Lynne is an accomplished lexicologist and theoretical semanticist, the author of Semantic Relations and the Lexicon (Cambridge UP, 2003) and Lexical Meaning (Cambridge UP, 2010), as well as co-author of Key Terms in Semantics (Bloomsbury, 2010) and Antonyms in English (Cambridge, 2012). She is also author of the extremely popular The Prodigal Tongue: The Love-Hate Relationship between American and British English (Penguin, 2018), written with support of a very competitive National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for public-facing scholarship. She is the Lynneguist behind the blog, Separated by a Common Language. She has taught at the University of the Witwatersrand, Baylor University, and the University of Sussex, and has been a member of DSNA at least since 1992, when she was studying for her Ph.D. with Ladislav Zgusta at the University of Illinois.

Lynne’s scholarly sophistication and command of style, her experience with writing and editing in various registers, her deep roots in the Society and American lexicography, and her access to the United Kingdom and Europe, all contribute to making her an exceptionally well-qualified choice to take over Dictionaries. I know you will join me in welcoming her appointment in the warmest terms.

Elizabeth Knowles

President, DSNA

Call for Papers 23 Biennial DSNA

Call for Papers

The 23rd Biennial Dictionary Society of North America Conference will be held at the University of Colorado, Boulder, in June 2021. Presentations on any aspect of lexicography and lexicology in any language are welcome. Those focused on aspects of lexicology and lexicography of the American West are particularly encouraged. The conference will feature a workshop and plenary panel on lexicography of indigenous North American languages.

All presenters must be members of the DSNA. To join or renew membership, click on the “Join Us!” link at the website The program will begin with presentations on the evening of Wednesday, June 2 and will run through Saturday afternoon, June 5.

Workshop proposals (including pedagogy sessions) should be between 800 and 1000 words, excluding references. Submit these to Orin Hargraves, the conference host, at

Abstracts for presentations of 20 minutes, 10 minutes Q&A, are invited. Submission of abstracts (300-500 words) is via EasyAbs ( Please do not put any self-identifying references in your abstract.

Workshop submission (to conference host) is open from 1 Sept 2020 to 1 Dec 2020.

Abstract submission for papers (via EasyAbs)  will take place in two rounds:

  • Round 1 is open from 1 Sept 2020 to 15 October 2020. Round 1 presenters will be notified by 16 Nov 2020 of their acceptance.
  • Round 2 is open from 1 Nov 2020 to 5 Jan 2021. Round 2 presenters will be notified by 15 Feb 2021 of their acceptance.

Conference Dates: Thursday, June 2 to Saturday, June 5, 2021

Location: the University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA.

Information about the sponsor: The Dictionary Society of North America promotes the development, practice, and study of lexicography, and the use, compilation, curation, marketing, maintenance, and scholarly examination of dictionaries and related reference works. It provides forums for discussion and dissemination of information on all of these topics, including a peer-reviewed journal, a newsletter, a blog, and biennial meetings. The DSNA was formed in 1975 to bring together people interested in dictionary making, study, collection, and use. Our members include people working on dictionaries, academics who engage in research and writing about dictionaries, dictionary collectors, librarians, booksellers, translators, linguists, publishers, writers, collectors, journalists, and people with an avocational interest in dictionaries. The only requirement for membership is an expression of interest in language, in words, dictionaries and lexicography, or any combination of these.