Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Happy Birthday, James

lol Sir James: i can has citations?Today in Denholm, Scotland, Sir James Murray was born in 1837.

He left Scotland for the sake of his first wife's health (the move to London didn't save her), and lived in England until his own death in 1915. He was the president of the Philological Society in London, and in 1879 he became the editor of a 10-year project called the New English Dictionary (later known as the Oxford English Dictionary - the OED). He continued working on the Murray had compiled roughly half of the entries in the Oxford English Dictionary.

Here's a tidbit, taken from Wikipedia:
Murray was primarily interested in languages and etymology. Some idea of the depth and range of linguistic erudition may be gained from a letter of application he wrote to Thomas Watts, Keeper of Printed Books at the British Museum, in which he claimed an ‘intimate acquaintance’ with Italian, French, Catalan, Spanish and Latin, and to a lesser degree ‘Portuguese, Vaudois, Provençal & various dialects’. In addition, he was ‘tolerably familiar’ with Dutch, Flemish, German and Danish. His studies of Anglo-Saxon and Mœso-Gothic had been ‘much closer’, he knew ‘a little of the Celtic’ and was at the time ‘engaged with the Slavonic, having obtained a useful knowledge of the Russian’. He had ‘sufficient knowledge of Hebrew & Syriac to read at sight the Old Testament and Peshito’ and to a lesser degree he knew Aramaic, Arabic, Coptic and Phoenician.

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At 9:19 AM, February 08, 2012 Anonymous learn italian in italy had this to say...

What a massive ammount of language knowlage he had! Sufficinet knowledge to read the old testament, not to shabby.


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