Comments on answers to a recent question raised issues of historical usage and appealed to OED 1. I have determined that with respect to two of its citations OED 1 is mistaken; but before proceeding I should like to know whether the online edition, OED 3, has corrected these errors and if so, what new citations it offers. Unhappily, I do not have access to that edition, even, disgracefully, through the university at which my wife is a student.

May I post an appeal for this information as a Question here? This would be routine in many other fora, but here it could be regarded as General Reference; it could, moreover, create a precedent fraught with opportunities for abuse, and could provoke hostile action against StackExchange by IP orcs from OUP. So I'd rather not post without a go-ahead from the mods.

I will post a bounty on this question if it is permitted - I suppose that shouldn't make a difference, but it might.

  • You are referring to the "mistress" question, right? Is that the right question? I do not see any mention of OED1 there.
    – tchrist Mod
    Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 13:54
  • @tchrist The dates cited by Jon Hanna in his first comment to Zairja's answer correspond to those in the OED, as I observe in my (currently) final comment to the same answer (below the jump). Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 14:01
  • 1
    Another place you can go for help is chat. There always seem to be people there; maybe some of them have better access than you do. Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 15:31
  • @MonicaCellio Yes, I thought of that, but it's a pretty complex question calling for long answers - would chat accommodate either? And would it let me burn off that bounty? Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 16:16
  • Oh, I thought you were asking "what does the OED3 entry on this say?" (i.e. can someone with access check for me?), rather than something more complex. If it's a meatier question then I agree it sounds reasonable to ask on main. Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 17:04

1 Answer 1


I think that you should just ask the question, referring to the mistakes that you have found in the OED1. The fact that you have consulted a reference and found it lacking generally protects you from being closed as Gen Ref. However, don't phrase your question as a simple query about what's in the OED3, but rather simply present it directly, and let somebody else find the proper resources for answering.

  • It is easier for most of us to test the OED2 and/or OED3 than the OED1.
    – tchrist Mod
    Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 14:46
  • 2
    Thank you. "A Daniel come to judgment." Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 16:44

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .