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Is the Oxford English Dictionary a reliable source about fruits?

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Is the Oxford English Dictionary a reliable source about fruits?

Post by frugivore on Wed Jun 23, 2010 5:59 pm

Let's say we look up coconut water in the more accessible 2 volume New Shorter Oxford (Oxford University Press 1993), on page 431 this is what you find:

"The large ovate brown hard-shelled seed of the tropical palm tree Cocos nucifera, which has an edible white lining enclosing a white liquid;the flesh of this."

"Coconut milk - the liquid found inside the coconut."

No,it is not. It is all wrong, it is nonsense! Well, how about the real McCoy? The complete OED?

"2. a. The tropical palm-tree Cocos nucifera, which produces the coco-nut. More fully called coco-palm, coco-tree, and now more often coco(a)-nut tree.
Its native region is app. the tropical shores of the Indian and Pacific Oceans; nowhere indigenous in the Atlantic basin. ‘It seems certain that it was

introduced by the Portuguese into Western Africa and the Cape Verde islands, and that it did not exist in the West Indies, Guiana or Brazil at the time of the discovery of America.’ Brande, Forest Flora of N.W. and Central India, 557."

"coconut water, whey, applied to early stages of the milk of the coconut."

"1817 J. Williamson Obs. W. India Islands i. 96 As a refreshing and nutritious drink, *cocoa-nut water may be mentioned." "1883 Chambers's Jrnl. XX. 155/2

Cocoa~nut water, found in the green pod before the fibrous husk and nut as we know them here are formed."

(Oxford English Dictionary CD-ROM version 3.00 Oxford University Press 2002.)

It is all wrong, too! The historical references are outdated and incorrect and so is the definition.It proves that the "Ivory Towers" of knowledge at Oxford are harder than a coconut shell.It's not easy for new knowledge to penetrate.

Frank Juhas[b]
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