I wrote this note to the OED folks a few days ago regarding the screenshot above. Anyone have another explanation? I’d rather not believe that the OED committed an error!
I regret to inform you that you may have an error in your otherwise invaluable dictionary.
I believe that an incorrect citation has been placed in the entry for “miserable.” The first nominal sense contains a citation from 1994 in the Daily Telegraph. The citation faithfully replicates the italicization of the word miserables. But, in fact, I believe the italics to be an indication that the author intended his or her readers to view the word as French, despite the absence of the acute accent: misérables. I consider this a possible allusion to Les Misérables, and the fact that the French-speaking nation of Haiti is in view provides further evidence for my supposition.
I am happy to be corrected. I have never discovered an error in the OED in all my previous years.
An amateur lover (pardon the etymological redundancy) of lexicography, yours,