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I love the Oxford English dictionary. I was first turned onto it by a couple (both scientists with Bell Labs) I hometaught in New Jersey. They weren't active, she had never been baptized and there was a strict "no prayer" rule (their request, of course) for all our hometeaching visits. This couple was extremely proud of their ancient multi-volume set of the OED that they would pull out anytime a word definition came into question. Our visits weren't extremely spiritual but I sure learned a lot from their unabated and constant intellectual curiosity.

Later I had an English professor give me an assignment that required I look up and record 10 words/definitions in the OED as well as 3 other dictionaries. Oh the joys of being an English major! But it really was a great experience and I've appreciated the OED a lot more ever since.

"surveying how average Mormons, or alternatively Mormon literature, use (and implicitly define) terms and doctrines"

Given the popular, yet incorrect usage/interpretation of some doctrines, I wonder how beneficial this would be.

Well, that's why it's a different way to consider the question--it forces us to recognize the terms and doctrines people actually use and believe as doctrines Mormons actually believe. That goes against the apologetic habit of considering doctrines that Mormons actually believe but saying, "No, we don't actually believe that." I guess you could call it "descriptive theology."

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