'The Editorial Committee of the dictionary of Australian English, led by Arthur Delbridge, were adamant that their dictionary was to be descriptive. It was an important point of difference from traditional dictionary policy. This dictionary would give an account of Australian English as it was heard and written. We wanted it all: spoken, written, technical, polite, rude. The speech of labourers, the jargon of merchants, swearwords, Australianisms, as well as the basic core of English vocabulary.'
The idea for a dictionary of Australian English was conceived in the 1960s, but it wasn't until 1981 that the first edition of the Macquarie Dictionary was published. More Than Words tells the story of how the dictionary was brought to life during this period -- from identifying the need for a genuinely Australian dictionary to the long road towards publication -- and explores how the dictionary has evolved over the years since then.