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Manuel Seco, academic and lexicographer, dies at 93

The lexicographer and academic of the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) Manuel Seco died today at the age of 93, as reported by the institution, which he entered in 1979 with a speech entitled The words in time: the dictionaries historical. Seco (Madrid, 1928), graduated in Romance Philology in 1952 from the Complutense University of Madrid and Doctor in Romance Philology, has also been professor, by opposition, of Spanish Language and Literature at secondary schools in 1960 , and taught at centers in Ávila, Guadalajara and Madrid.

Before being elected a member of the corporation, the RAE reported, Seco entered the Lexicography Seminary of the Royal Academy in 1962 at the invitation of Rafael Lapesa. In this department, founded by Julio Casares in 1947, the Historical Dictionary of the Spanish language was produced. There Seco worked for 31 years, where he also served as editor of the two published volumes of the Historical Dictionary (1962-1968), and later as editor-in-chief (1968-1981), until finally he was its director (1981-1993).

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“Manuel Seco Reymundo was the last of the great lexicographers that remained in the RAE. He has been a reference, a teacher, for all of us who admire philology. He was currently the oldest academic, he entered the institution in 1979, where he has developed a fantastic activity. As a young man he published a grammar manual with a lot of repercussion and was a teacher at secondary schools ”, said the director of the institution, Santiago Muñoz Machado in the presentation of the new features of the digital edition of the dictionary. Muñoz Machado, reports Manuel Morales, has highlighted from his legacy the Dictionary of the use of Spanish , “el Seco, as it is known in the Academy, a reference”. Finally, he pointed out that Seco “had been bedridden for months, a couple of years ago he lost his wife and it was a very important blow for him”.

From 2000 to 2012, appointed advisor to the recently created Institute of Lexicography, he was academic advisor to the Student Dictionary (2005) and the Student's Practical Dictionary (2007 ), coordinated by Elena Zamora, and the Essential Dictionary of the Spanish Language (2006), coordinated by Rafael Rodríguez Marín. Honorary President of the Spanish Association for Lexicographic Studies, of which he was its first president (2003-2004), he was also part of the Board of Trustees of the Ramón Menéndez Pidal Foundation (2004-2007). He was also an honorary member of the Colombian Academy of Language and of the Caro y Cuervo Institute of Bogotá, honorary researcher of the Bolivian Institute of Lexicography of La Paz and honorary member of the Association of Teachers of Spanish. In 2010 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Alicante. Awarded with the Culture Award of the Community of Madrid (1999), Manuel Seco was recognized with the Great Cross of the Civil Order of Alfonso X el Sabio (1999). Among the tributes he received, it is worth mentioning Language and dictionaries. Studies offered to Manuel Seco (2002), edited by the academic Pedro Álvarez de Miranda and by José Polo; Tribute to D. Manuel Seco, in The lexicography in its theoretical dimension (2010, pp. 657-710), edited by María Auxiliadora Castillo Carballo, and Spanish Linguistics Studies. It also featured the Tribute to Manuel Seco (University of Alicante, 2012), edited by Félix Rodríguez González. On July 15, 2015, he was distinguished with the Menéndez Pelayo International Award, an award he received in Santander on September 11 of that same year.

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