On some deficiencies (1860)

Welcome to the facsimile text of On some deficiencies in our English Dictionaries, which comprises the two papers presented to the Philological Society by Richard Chenevix Trench in November 1857.

The second edition, which is presented here, was published in 1860 by John W. Parker and Son of West Strand, London. This edition was used in preference to the first, since it also contains Herbert Coleridge’s optimistic letter of May 1860 to Chenevix Trench, written in response to the impending publication of this edition of Deficiencies, just 11 months before Coleridge’s untimely death in April 1861.

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  • Title page
  • Introduction
  • The Essay, p. 2
  • The seven Deficiencies discussed, p. 3:
    • I. ‘In regard of obsolete words, our Dictionaries have no certain rule of admission or exclusion’, p. 8
    • II. ‘Families of words in our Dictionaries are often incomplete.. .’, p. 18
    • III. ‘Our Dictionaries do not always take sufficient care to mark the..rise of words..’, p. 28
    • IV. ‘Our Dictionaries might note more accurately than they do..the earlier uses which words have now left behind..’, p. 43
    • V. ‘Our Dictionaries pay comparatively little attention to the distinction of synonymous words’, p. 47
    • VI. ‘Many passages are passed by which might be usefully adduced in illustration of the first introduction, etymology, and meaning of words’, p. 50
    • VII. ‘A Dictionary ought to know its own limits..’, p. 56
  • Conclusion, p. 63
  • A Letter to the Very Rev. the Dean of Westminster
  • Index of words cited