Katherine Barber, Who Defined Canadian English, Is Dead at 61


While the dictionary was partly compiled with 6-by-Four-inch slips of paper, as within the 19th century, Ms. Barber was despatched to Palo Alto, Calif., and Oxford, England, to study computational lexicography. That enabled her and her employees to kind by means of an enormous database of digitized Canadian publications, parliamentary debates and books that had been collected as a linguistics undertaking by a Canadian college.

Several entries that made the ultimate reduce concerned phrases utilized in most of Canada — like “eavestrough” for rain gutter and “keener,” “a person, esp. a student, who is extremely eager, zealous or enthusiastic.” But others had been regional, like “parkade,” a Western Canadian time period for parking storage, and “steamie,” a steamed scorching canine in Quebec.

While Ms. Barber apparently had no favorites, at least one of many 2,000 Canadian phrases and meanings that made it into the primary version of the dictionary might need mirrored her private pursuits.

Ms. Hanna mentioned her sister was a fan of the Montreal Canadiens hockey crew and significantly of Serge Savard, one in all its stars within the late 1960s and ’70s. “Spinarama,” “an evasive move, esp. in hockey, consisting of an abrupt 360-degree turn,” seems within the dictionary with out a notation that the approach was first attributed to Savard.

When the Oxford Canadian Dictionary, which was primarily based on a revised model of the Concise Oxford English Dictionary, appeared in 1998, it was an instantaneous finest vendor. Ms. Barber escalated her long-running e book tour.

Because she didn’t drive, she known as on family and friends members to take her and packing containers of dictionaries out to promote after public talking occasions. The dictionary, and a 2004 version that added about 200 extra Canadianisms, turned the usual phrase authority for Canadian information organizations and colleges. Several spinoff variations had been produced, together with one for college students.

“When the dictionary came out,” Mr. Sinkins mentioned, “for some people it established for the first time that there was such a thing as a unique variety of English we can call Canadian.”



Source link Nytimes.com

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