Monday, May 16, 2011

Delfín Carbonell, PhD., THE Lexicographer and Philologist

Delfín Carbonell, PhD

The majority of lexicographers – scholars who compile dictionaries - are at the helm of teams of researchers who do the most laborious work.

The most prolific authors also have teams of writers who do the actual writing.  The famous author signs it off and also signs the manuscript. This is not criticism, but a fact.

However, I know of a lexicographer who singlehandedly compiles his own dictionaries – of slang, of idioms, quotes, bilingual and monolingual-. So far he’s published 13, and October will bring his 14th title.

He doesn’t write in seclusion, or in his quiet office at a university, far from the daily grind of common mortals. He also has, by the way, a Dictionary of Cliches, and I’m pretty sure I’ll hear about the one I just used.

Delfín Carbonell Basset weaves the writing of his dictionaries into his daily life. He writes at night or in pockets of time throughout the day. He listens to the way people talk and makes mental and paper notes. He works on his laptop, surrounded by the domestic comings and goings of any household. I don´t know how he does it.

He is the creator of the Unialphabet, in which a bilingual dictionary is not divided into two languages, but sorted alphabetically, just as a monolingual dictionary, which makes it much easier to check.
Besides, Delfín Carbonell is THE philologist of the Spanish TV program Magabusiness, where he explains grammar, pronunciation and other complexities of language with his particular sense of humor, which I’m afraid I may have inherited.

I am an admirer of this scholar, whose passion for language is contagious. I also have the privilege of having direct access to him when I need a fast answer concerning my doubts pertaining language usage, either in English or Spanish, because, he also happens to be bilingual.

I am a writer because I grew up watching Professor Carbonell reading and writing, and I´m bilingual because he devoted time and effort to ensuring all his children spoke two languages.  

It is a privilege to have such a father.

His blogs:

Sobre la lengua inglesa (On the English language)

To know more about my books:

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