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Bruce Moore

Bruce Moore

Bruce Moore, editor of the second edition of the Australian National Dictionary (2016), was director of the Australian National Dictionary Centre from 1994 to 2011. His recent publications include What's Their Story: A History of Australian Words (OUP, 2010), The Australian Concise Oxford Dictionary 5th edn (OUP, 2009), Speaking Our Language: The Story of Australian English (OUP, 2008), The Australian Pocket Oxford Dictionary, 6th edn (OUP, 2007), Australian Aboriginal Words in English 2nd edn, R.M.W. Dixon, Bruce Moore, W.S. Ramson, & Mandy Thomas (OUP, 2006).

The new 'Australian National Dictionary' by Bruce Moore

August 2016, no. 383 25 July 2016
The Australian National Dictionary – the second edition of which has just been published – is based on historical principles and modelled on the large Oxford English Dictionary. Words and meanings are traced chronologically from their first occurrence in the language through to the present (or to the time when they cease to be used); the evidence for their history appears in the form of quotat ... (read more)

Bruce Moore reviews 'Authorisms: Words wrought by writers' by Paul Dickson

November 2014, no. 366 01 November 2014
American Paul Dickson has written many books on aspects of language, including Words from the White House (2013). He also claims to have invented some fifty words, although he admits that only two of these have any real chance of becoming ‘household words’: word word ‘a word that is repeated to distinguish it from a seemingly identical word or name’, as in ‘a book book to distinguish the ... (read more)

Bruce Moore reviews 'Green’s Dictionary of Slang' by Jonathon Green

July–August 2011, no. 333 29 June 2011
Dictionaries of slang have a history as long as that of dictionaries of Standard English, and both kinds of dictionary arose from a similarity of needs. The need for a guide to ‘hard’ words generated the earliest standard dictionaries; the need for a guide to the language of ‘hard cases’ (beggars, thieves, and criminals generally) generated the earliest slang dictionaries. Samuel Johnson p ... (read more)

Bruce Moore reviews 'Secret Language' by Barry J. Blake

March 2011, no. 329 01 March 2011
The ‘secret language’ of the title of this book covers many kinds and levels of secrecy (things hidden and concealed), and a similar range of languages. The reasons for secrecy in language are manifold, the book argues, and Barry Blake gathers into his survey a vast range of material that illustrates how people can be oblique or indirect in their uses of language, which can be characterised by ... (read more)

Bruce Moore reviews 'Colonial Voices: A Cultural History of English in Australia 1840–1940' by Joy Damousi

December 2010–January 2011, no. 327 07 December 2010
This is a book about the role of English speech in the creation and spread of British colonialism in Australia, about the eventual disintegration of this imperial speech and its values in the colony now transformed into a nation, and about the emergence of the ‘colonial voices’ of the title, ‘prophesying’ and enacting a metaphoric ‘war’ against their ‘ancestral’ master, and forging ... (read more)
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