“In Response to Your Request I Inform...” (The 70th An niversary of Publishing The “Dictionary” by S. I. Ozhegov)

2020. № 2, 115-127

Oleg V. Nikitin, Moscow Region State University (Russia, Moscow), olnikitin@yandex.ru


We publish the letters sent to S.I. Ozhegov by the readers of “Dictionary of the Russian language” where they request to clarify the pronunciation or the meaning of certain words. Several letters contain criticism and refinement of various fragments of the dictionary. The correspondence shows the author not only as a sensitive lexicographer, who responded to the messages of unknown people, but also as a dedicated and down-to-earth person keen on the element of Russian language. Ozhegov’s comments, made many years ago, are valuable as a fact of history of philological science and as a source of useful linguistic and cultural information. His remarks make us think about many problems in Russian literary language and low colloquial speech, which have not yet received a clear solution. S. I. Ozhegov’s unobtrusive simple interpretations allow readers to enter the inner world of this outstanding scientist and to understand his linguistic personality. The letters presented in the collection can be useful for compiling modern dictionaries and reference books on teaching the culture of speech and language norms.