Sets of quotations illustrate the historical use of each word from its earliest recorded occurrence and form the basis for the definitions provided.
Position of quotations
Each sense (or subdivision thereof) is supported by a single set of quotations arranged in chronological order.
Compounds, when presented as a separate block, are followed by a single set of quotations. Quotations are initially grouped according to the alphabetical ordering of the compounds list and then arranged chronologically for each compound form. This means that the first quotation shown alphabetically may not be the earliest. For example in the block of compounds under the entry for karee, the first quotation for karee-berry is dated 1947. However, kareebos, which occurs alphabetically further down the list, shows 1939 as its earliest quotation. To assist locating the set of quotations for a particular compound, the first occurrence of each compound form is marked in bold typeface in the quotation block.
Derivatives are generally followed by their own set of quotations. Quotations are presented as one chronological block, with no distinction made in cases where more than one derived form is shown. See for example the entry for braai.
In cases when a headword is characterised by two or more distinct variant forms (indicated using Greek characters α, β, etc.), each group is supported by a unique set of quotations given in chronological order. See for example the entry for aardvark.
Styling conventions in the quotation block
By default, only the first and last quotations are shown for each quotation block. The complete list of quotations can be displayed by clicking Show more.
The date of each quotation is given in bold and, wherever possible, the person actually responsible for the citation is named in small capitals, including the author of a work published in a periodical or in an edited collection of material. Published titles are italicised, unpublished titles in roman. Informal quotations are labeled Informant, indicated in italics, and may be preceded by a name. Where an institution is the issuing source, the title of the work is given first, followed by the name of the institution in brackets.
Where a date of death has been used, sources are dated ‘ante’ the date of death, and where external evidence has led to the determination of a probable date of publication, sources are dated ‘circa’ that year. Where the date of utterance differs from the date of publication of the edition used, the latter is given in round brackets immediately after the title.
Informational quotations are given in square brackets.
Although detailed bibliographic references for most citations are listed in the Select Bibliography, the short reference used in the citation is usually sufficient to identify the text or edition used. The numbering of volumes and parts (or sections) reflects the numbering used in the source documents. A page number is given wherever possible. Although extraordinary typefaces have been standardized on italic and some extraneous material has been omitted (omissions are indicated by ellipses), care has always been taken to remain true to the authorʼs intent.