LOWBot Goes a(n)-Antedating

In an earlier post, OED Antedating OED, I documented how OED3’s rate of antedating had improved dramatically since the revision kicked off in 2000, from around 35-40% of word entries antedated in the first five or six years of updates, to above 60% since 2012, noting that one reason for the improvement must be the coming online of big historical text repositories such as EEBO and ECCO.

Recently OED launched one of their storied ‘Appeals‘ to the public which highlighted this fact:

… for the entries we worked on in the early years of the project, there’s a good chance of being able to improve upon the dates of our earliest quotations by searching in a number of now readily accessible databases that simply weren’t available then.

And this is where you come in. As editors are concentrating on updating the unrevised text of the OED, it is unlikely that they will be able to go back systematically over the revised ranges for some time. Carrying on the long tradition of crowdsourcing employed by the OED, we’d like to invite you to try your hand at antedating any sense that has been revised or added in the range M-R…

[As a small aside, who was the first to refer to OED as a crowdsourced or crowdsourcing project? I did in 2013 (both terms, and noting that they were not yet in OED–they are now), but there must have been others before me. I’ll get the bots on it!]

The Appeal motivated me to work on an experiment I’ve been wanting to run for some time, so a couple of days ago I set longtime team member LOWbot to look for potential antedatings in EEBO and ECCO. It has already started tweeting antedatings, and will continue at a rate of one per hour (well, one minute earlier each hour, in the spirit of things) for the next seven days. You can check up on its progress in the feed embedded below, or follow @lifeofwordsbot, #oedantedatings, or #hourly_antedating on Twitter  [update – the hashtags don’t seem to be picking up LOWbot’s tweets or my retweets – follow or search the bot itself if interested].

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More Precisions on Revisions

In the comments to my last post [OED3 Revision Revised for 2020] I posted this chart, in reply to a remark about projected completion: This implies that revision has slowed down somewhat in the last ten years, and even more in the last five. But it was pointed out to me elsewhere that entries per […]

OED3 Revision, Revised for 2020

In my previous post [OED3’s Revision Status (c. 2018.12.15)] I took a bird’s eye view of when various parts of the Oxford English Dictionary Online (OED3) were added, and when revised (if they’ve been revised). I came up with a figure that at the end of last year (2018), 50.4% of entries in OED3 were […]

OED3’s Revision Status (c. 2018.12.15)

Most people know that the OED is in the midst of a wholesale revision of legacy OED material dating back in some cases to the 1890s, in addition to the regular updates and additions we hear about in quarterly bulletins. This work started to be published almost 20 years ago, now, and may go on […]

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OED Antedating OED

In 6 years, OED went from a 40% to a 60% antedating rate, a remarkable improvement.You want to know what the biggest antedating has been so far, don’t you? Well, I’ll tell you.

“Bastard” goes legit! (and has some babies of its own)

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