310R. J. M. Wyllie to Harrod, 8 [May] 1933 [a]

Wyllie thanks Harrod for attracting attention on gold-pound, gold-frank, and gold-certificate for the Oxford English Dictionary, which are passed on to Onions. [1]

  1. 1. C. T. Onions sent on the same day the whole entry on "Gold" for the Oxford English Dictionary for comments (in HP IV-C/B-3). On 14 June, Wyllie thanked Harrod for a letter on "autarky" for the corresponding entry in the Oxford English Dictionary (in HP IV-C/B-5), and on 17 July asked for a definition of "valorize" (in HP IV-C/B-6). Harrod's collaboration with the OED began in 1931, when he was asked to supply a definition for "member bank": see letter 210 R.

    Harrod later wrote to The Times on "Autarchy or Autarky" ( 1936:13 ), in reply to a letter by "Pedant" of 25 November 1936 who complained of the newspaper's use of the word "autarchy":

    • Sir,--Pedant's letter in your issue of November 25 is headed "Autarchy or autarky?" Is there really any need for the question mark?

      Autarchy is a well established word, the difference in meaning of which from autocracy we may leave it to Greek scholars to explain. Autarky is a novelty; its meaning, self-sufficiency, is quite distinct. But since the autarchic States tend generally to be autarkic also, genuine confusion may be caused in the reader's mind unless the spellings are kept distinct. Pedant suggests that we should be content to use self-sufficiency; but autarky is useful because it relates specifically to the deliberate policy of States. And I suggest that the notion that autarky is ugly is merely due to the fact that the reader, unless he becomes used to it, experience uneasiness, because he momentarily believes himself to be confronted with a misspelling. The best economic authorities, e.g., the Economist newspaper, now regularly use autarky, and I write in the confident expectation that The Times will join with those who are setting a good example in this matter.

      1. a. From the Oxford English Dictionary, Broad Street, Oxford # , ALS, one page, in HP IV-C/B-4.


Welcome page

top of page

Return to index of this section

Go to previous page

Go to next page