Re: books (for new collectors)

[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ Salon ] [ FAQ ]

Posted by Steve Price on May 10, 1999 at 05:39:02:

In Reply to: Re: books (for new collectors) posted by Yon Bard on May 09, 1999 at 21:53:13:

Dear Yon,

I absolutely agree that books on oriental rugs are nearly endless fountains of misinformation. And, in this respect, Peter Stone's "Lexicon" is VERY MUCH better than most. And I suspect that Webster's original dictionary of the English language had lots of errors, too, but gradually got revised into an accurate, authoritative work.

And this gets to the heart of my problem with the book: it has too many errors to be an authoritative source for a beginner, and a beginner expects a dictionary to be just that.

My estimate of 0.1% error is based on my assumption, probably much too loose, that there are almost no errors beyond those that I encountered in the general area of Turkmen, where I know something about the subject (at least, the words). Within this narrow group, I ran across errors in the definitions of mafrash, kap, ok-bash, and germetsch. Overall, I'd guess that the error rate in Turkmen-related listings are more like 10%, excessive for a dictionary.

The problem here for a beginner is, can he trust the definitions he finds? I know nothing about American Indian textiles, for instance, and would be very wary about using this dictionary as a source of definitions for that stuff if there might be a 10% error rate.

I think Stone's undertaking was monumental, and I think the books will evolve into a really trustworthy primary reference work with subsequent editions. But I also think that the current one is not for beginners.


Steve Price

Follow Ups:

Post a Followup




Optional Link URL:
Link Title:
Optional Image URL:

[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ Salon ] [ FAQ ]