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Showing posts from June, 2009

Remembering Richard Allsopp, Ph.D., Lexicographer and West Indian extraordinaire

To harness, by naming, creation around;
To label, unwritten, folk thoughts that abound;
To fight life, with language sole arm of the fighter,
Their tongue is the pen of a ready writer.

- Richard Allsopp, 1923-2009


As professions involved in the daily use, appreciation and embrace of the written and spoken word, journalism and broadcasting in Barbados and throughout the Caribbean owe Richard Allsopp a tremendous debt of gratitude for his devotion of a half-century's work to mapping the English Language as it has evolved in the Caribbean.

His crowning achievement, "The Dictionary of Caribbean English Usage", published in 1996 after 25 years of toil, remains as vitally important a reference tool as the "Oxford Concise Dictionary". Indeed, not only do we credit Professor Allsopp for ensuring the entry of authentically Caribbean words into the global English lexicon but for his insistence on the appropriate usage of English in a Carib…