obelism
Definition - The practice of annotating manuscripts by placing marks in the margins.

Example -
Modern annotators use:
(1) dele (for "delete")
(2) stet (Latin for "Let it stand" which means "disregard the previous mark")

Etymology -
The word derives from the Greek obeliskos, which is the diminutive of obelos, pointed pillar or needle. Ancient Greek editors used to put obelisks in the margins of manuscripts to indicate lines that were of doubtful origin.

Oxford English Dictionary -
Its first citation is from 1860:
"The office of a Dictionary…is eminently regulative.… It separates the spurious from the genuine, either…in the way of exclusion,…or by careful obelism."
(D. Coleridge in Trans. Philol. Soc. 156)

Quotation -
"A suitable dictionary … distinguishes the gold and silver words, and obolizes the base Brummagem copper coinage."
(Source: Thomas De Quincey in Blackwoods Magazine (1830 XXVIII. 672) )



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