Francesca Ferrucci

Gender, Ethnicity, Sexual and Political Orientation, Disability: The Role of the Usage Dictionary within Cultural, Sociolinguistic and Lexical Changes

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The article intervenes in the debate, opened by a 2020 petition against the Oxford Dictionary, about the role of usage dictionaries in reinforcing or contrasting potentially discriminatory linguistic phenomena. If, in fact, the lexicographic items aim to adhere to the real use of speakers, they must mirror instances that are sometimes offensive, albeit in an objectified way; if, on the other hand, they obscured these instances, the descriptive vocation of the sources would be lost. Retracing their evolution and analyzing the choices of various contemporary dictionaries, some coordinates are proposed to meet the editorial rigor while getting away from verbal violence.


  • Dictionary
  • Gender
  • Ethnicity
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Disability


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