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TAGS: Dictionaries; English language; Research Department, Questions and answers; Shoghi Effendi, Dictionary of; Shoghi Effendi, Life of; Shoghi Effendi, Translations by; Shoghi Effendi, Writings of; Translation; Webster dictionary
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Abstract:
Clarification/confirmation that the English dictionary used by Shoghi Effendi was Webster's (1934).
Notes:
For a partial scan of the mentioned edition, see archive.org (the first 218 pages of this scan relate to the dictionary section, which has a total of 3210 pages; the rest is a partial scan of a supplemental section titled 'A Reference History of the World', 114 scanned pages of a total of 360 pages).

See also Ruhiyyih Khanum's statement in Chapter 10 of The Priceless Pearl: "Although he had such a brilliant command of language he frequently reinforced his knowledge by certainty through looking up the word he planned to use in Webster's big dictionary. ... Not infrequently his choice would be the third or fourth usage of the word, sometimes bordering on the archaic, but it was the exact word that conveyed his meaning and so he used it."


Dictionary Used by the Guardian

by / on behalf of Universal House of Justice

1997-12-08
MEMORANDUM

To: The Universal House of Justice
Date: 8 December 1997
From: Research Department

Dictionary used by the Guardian

The Research Department has considered the questions raised by Mr. ..., in his email message dated 9 October 1997 on behalf of the National Teaching, Enrollment and Consolidation Institute in Alaska. Mr. ... states that the curricula provided by the Institute would be “more meaningful to the students if definitions are provided for words used in the quotes being studied”. To this end, he would like to know “what English dictionary or dictionaries the Guardian used most often in his work”. … We reply as follows.

Regarding the dictionary most often used by the Guardian, we have found a statement in a communication dated 23 June 1982, from the Universal House of Justice to a department at the Bahá’í World Centre, that Amatu’l-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum has advised:

...that the English dictionary to which the beloved Guardian habitually referred was “Webster’s New International Dictionary of the English Language”, second edition, unabridged, 1934, London G. Bell and Sons Ltd., Springfield, Massachusetts, R. and C. Merriam Co. We presume that if there were two versions published, one American and one British, it will have been the British one that the Guardian used.

Reference to this specific edition of this dictionary is, obviously, very important when gauging the exact meaning intended by Shoghi Effendi in the use of certain words.

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