Who can really be called a lexicographer?

Gouws, Rufus H. (2012)

CITATION: Gouws, R. H. 2012. Who can really be called a lexicographer? Lexikos, 22:217-225, doi:10.5788/22-1-1004.

The original publication is available at http://lexikos.journals.ac.za


Lexicographers define words but still lack a clear and unambiguous understanding of the word lexicographer. This paper gives a brief discussion of the problems experienced in trying to determine exactly what a lexicographer is. The distinction between theoretical and practical lexicographers is quite clear but within both these categories there are grey areas where it is not so clear whether a specific participant in lexicographic activities qualifies to be called a lexicographer. The lack of formal professional lexicographic qualifications impedes an unambiguous understanding of the word. The emergence of lexicography as an independent discipline compels lexicographers to take a closer look at criteria relevant to identifying someone as being a lexicographer.

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