"More Than Words: The Making of the Macquarie Dictionary"

Feb 19, 2021
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The idea for a dictionary of Australian English was conceived in the 1960s, but it wasn’t until 1981 that the first edition of the Macquarie Dictionary was published. More Than Words tells the story of how the dictionary was brought to life during this period – from identifying the need for a genuinely Australian dictionary to the long road towards publication – and explores how the dictionary has evolved over the years since then.

The publication of the Macquarie Dictionary signalled the end of the huge struggle to claim validity and dignity for Australian speech, words and expressions, and patterns of language.

Written by Pat Manser, who worked as a research editor for the first Macquarie Dictionary, More Than Words recounts the story behind the dictionary that gave a full account of Australian English as it was heard and written in the speech of labourers, the jargon of merchants, swearwords, Australianisms, as well as the basic core of English vocabulary. 


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