Vietnamese IELTS learners spot mistake in Oxford Collocations Dictionary

Oxford University has recently admitted an error in one of its dictionaries after a group of Vietnamese English-language learners found a mistake in it.

The error was spotted on page 652 of the Oxford Collocations Dictionary, which was printed in China and released globally, when they used the dictionary for their IELTS studying a few months ago.

Specifically, the dictionary displays the phrases “~concerning to” and “~regarding to” while they are supposed to be “~concerning” and “~regarding” without the preposition “to.”

The learners later emailed over the incident but they received no reply.

At the beginning of July, the group contacted Oxford University’s representative in Vietnam.

On July 6, Sadie Maddocks, staff from the British university, responded to the group via email, saying she had just received an answer from the people responsible for the dictionary.

Maddocks said the Vietnamese learners are right and “~concerning to” and “~regarding to” should have been written without “to.”

However, she added that the adjustment cannot be done until a new edition is released.

She also delivered a thank you to the error-finders from the dictionary’s editorial board.

Oxford University’s representative also confirmed the error to Tuoi Tre(Youth) newspaper.

Oxford Collocations Dictionary. Photo: Tuoi Tre

However, the Vietnamese learners are not satisfied with the way Oxford University dealt with the issue.

They said while waiting for a new edition, the university could announce the mistake on its website or other channels so that learners can realize it.

Nguyen Thi Thuy Hang, a member of the group, said it would not be a big deal if the mistake were in a dictionary other than the one published by Oxford.

“But this is a reputable Oxford dictionary which is trusted by many English learners,” she said, adding that the error is a common mistake that many Vietnamese learners have made.

“If such mistakes were written in essays or exams, we are afraid that it will reduce the professionalism of Vietnamese people’s writing skills in the eyes of international friends.”

Thanks to its reputation, errors in Oxford dictionaries have always drawn attention.

In 2010, Australian physicist Stephen Hughes, from the University of Technology in Brisbane, also spotted a mistake in the definition of the word "siphon" in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED).

The definition states that atmospheric pressure makes a siphon work, when in fact it is the force of gravity that moves fluid in a siphon.

In response, an OED spokesman said the definition was written in 1911 by "editors who were not scientists."
Source: Tuoi Tre News
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