Oxford English for proofreading
Thread poster: Catharine Cellier-Smart

Catharine Cellier-Smart  Identity Verified
Reunion
Local time: 17:43
Member (2010)
French to English
+ ...
Jun 14, 2011

I've just started a new proof-reading contract, and I've been asked to use "Oxford English" as opposed to British or US English, as it would be "more international" according to the client. (The client is French, but this isn't proofreading French to English, it's English to English).

Problem is, at the risk of sounding ignorant, I've never heard of "Oxford English" as a type of English, and internet search results are polluted by the OE dictionary or by language schools in Oxford.<
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I've just started a new proof-reading contract, and I've been asked to use "Oxford English" as opposed to British or US English, as it would be "more international" according to the client. (The client is French, but this isn't proofreading French to English, it's English to English).

Problem is, at the risk of sounding ignorant, I've never heard of "Oxford English" as a type of English, and internet search results are polluted by the OE dictionary or by language schools in Oxford.

Anybody ever heard of it as a type of English ?

Thanks

Catharine
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Barbara Carrara  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 15:43
Member (2008)
English to Italian
+ ...
Oxford Reference Jun 14, 2011

This could be referring to The Oxford Guide to Style (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Oxford-Guide-Style-Language-Reference/dp/0198691750), as opposed to other UK- or US-EN style guides.

http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780198605645.do
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This could be referring to The Oxford Guide to Style (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Oxford-Guide-Style-Language-Reference/dp/0198691750), as opposed to other UK- or US-EN style guides.

http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780198605645.do

[Edited at 2011-06-14 06:58 GMT]
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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 15:43
Italian to English
In memoriam
One or two things to watch out for Jun 14, 2011

The Oxford Style Manual is excellent but it does have one or two quirks to watch out for, including the "Oxford comma" separating the penultimate and final items in a list (the OSM suggests "mad, bad, and dangerous to know" instead of "mad, bad and dangerous to know), which is non-standard in UK English, and prefers the etymologically correct "-ize" spelling for verbs incorporating the Greek -ιζω suffix in place of the "-ise" version which UK English adopted from French two or three hundred y... See more
The Oxford Style Manual is excellent but it does have one or two quirks to watch out for, including the "Oxford comma" separating the penultimate and final items in a list (the OSM suggests "mad, bad, and dangerous to know" instead of "mad, bad and dangerous to know), which is non-standard in UK English, and prefers the etymologically correct "-ize" spelling for verbs incorporating the Greek -ιζω suffix in place of the "-ise" version which UK English adopted from French two or three hundred years ago.Collapse


 

Michael Wetzel  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 15:43
German to English
Oxford Style Jun 14, 2011

Hello Catharine,
I use New Hart's Rules (2005) as my source for Oxford Style and one of the Oxford Dictionaries (currently Oxford Dictionary of English, 2nd Ed.) as my source for spelling; a new Oxford English Dictionary is coming out soon, and I will probably update to that. I don't know if there is a newer handbook.

Oxford Style is, of course, UK English. Its most distinctive features is that it generally uses -ize instead of -ise; it also uses an "Oxford comma"/ "serial com
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Hello Catharine,
I use New Hart's Rules (2005) as my source for Oxford Style and one of the Oxford Dictionaries (currently Oxford Dictionary of English, 2nd Ed.) as my source for spelling; a new Oxford English Dictionary is coming out soon, and I will probably update to that. I don't know if there is a newer handbook.

Oxford Style is, of course, UK English. Its most distinctive features is that it generally uses -ize instead of -ise; it also uses an "Oxford comma"/ "serial comma" in series (X, Y, and Z instead of X, Y and Z). Besides that, it is a style guide like any other and contains an endless number of helpful and less helpful rules and suggestions. Other than -ize, it uses what everyone accepts as standard British spelling "colour", "grey", etc. The serial comma is also widely used by other styles.

Oxford style and Oxford spelling are used in the UK by scholarly journals, for example, and I think the UN also uses its -ize spelling in a more or less misguided attempt at an international English.

By the way, Oxford always argues that -ize is not an Americanism, but rather a traditional English spelling, and that -ise is actually a Frenchism.

Sincerely,
Michael

PS: I can't remember if it is the German or English Wikipedia, but one or the other offers a somewhat different account of "Oxford Style", if anyone here is active with Wikipedia, a disambiguation might be helpful there.
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Robert Tucker (X)
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:43
German to English
+ ...
Spellchecker Jun 14, 2011

There is an OED spellchecker extension for OpenOffice:

http://extensions.services.openoffice.org/node/1890

It will indicate -ise and -isation spellings incorrect.

[I think possibly even Oxford English has given out on the original billion and trillion in modern usage.]


 

Peter Linton  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:43
Swedish to English
+ ...
Concise Oxford English Dictionary Jun 14, 2011

In addition to the Oxford Style Guide, and perhaps the entire Oxford English Dictionary, I would recommend the Concise Oxford English Dictionary (latest edition) mainly in order to check word hyphenation. This is because of a subtle difference – American words are hyphenated by sound, English words by morphology. So a word like "triumphant" is hyphenated trium-phant in American and triumph-ant in British English.

Hyphenation can make a significant difference to the meaning – co
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In addition to the Oxford Style Guide, and perhaps the entire Oxford English Dictionary, I would recommend the Concise Oxford English Dictionary (latest edition) mainly in order to check word hyphenation. This is because of a subtle difference – American words are hyphenated by sound, English words by morphology. So a word like "triumphant" is hyphenated trium-phant in American and triumph-ant in British English.

Hyphenation can make a significant difference to the meaning – compare "extra-marital sex and "extra marital sex".
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Catharine Cellier-Smart  Identity Verified
Reunion
Local time: 17:43
Member (2010)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Jun 14, 2011

Thank you all for your input - very helpful !

Robert, I've downloaded the OED spellchecker extension for Openoffice, but am not sure I've installed it correctly.
Should it show up as a separate dictionary, additional to UK English and US English, or is it just an invisible patch onto the UK English dictionary ?


 

Robert Tucker (X)
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:43
German to English
+ ...
Extension manager Jun 14, 2011

If it shows up in Extension manager as installed and enabled it should be functional.



As long as it is enabled I think it automatically takes precedence over other UK spellcheckers. If you get both realise and color underlined, then it's probably working.

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If it shows up in Extension manager as installed and enabled it should be functional.



As long as it is enabled I think it automatically takes precedence over other UK spellcheckers. If you get both realise and color underlined, then it's probably working.

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Michael Wetzel  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 15:43
German to English
Oxford Spellchecker Jun 15, 2011

Hello everyone,
There is also the "Oxford Spellchecker & Dictionary 1.2" for MS Word users. I believe that it got reasonable reviews. Unfortunately, I work with Word 2010, so my copy has never left my bookshelf. I ought to give it away, but I am still hoping that I will find some kind of patch or work-around somewhere.

The program apparently works with Windows 7 as long as you have MS Word 2007 or an older version, but I am not sure how complicated it is to get it up and runni
... See more
Hello everyone,
There is also the "Oxford Spellchecker & Dictionary 1.2" for MS Word users. I believe that it got reasonable reviews. Unfortunately, I work with Word 2010, so my copy has never left my bookshelf. I ought to give it away, but I am still hoping that I will find some kind of patch or work-around somewhere.

The program apparently works with Windows 7 as long as you have MS Word 2007 or an older version, but I am not sure how complicated it is to get it up and running.

Sincerely,
Michael
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Olly Pekelharing  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 15:43
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
oxford spellchecker Jun 15, 2011

@Michael,

Thanks for that! I can't do without my Oxford Spellchecker, which also has an excellent "ize or ise" option, and saves me a lot of bother as about half of my clients insist on the one and half on the other! Was considering upgrading to 2010 on my next computer, but now I know I won't.

Olly

PS: keep me posted if you do find a workaround for Office 2010!


 


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