Goodbye to the Oxford English Dictionary

Creative Commons photo by Ben Hosking, modified by the author

…in print form, at least. The Telegraph is reporting that the next edition of the OED will probably not be published in print, “because of the impact of the internet on book sales.” It will continue to exist in online form, as it has for ten years.

An important distinction is that this is not the one-volume Oxford Dictionary of English, which is sold in many if not most bookstores. The 20-volume Oxford English Dictionary is considered the most definitive work on the English language, with complete etymology for all words. It was last published in 1989, and 80 lexicographers have been working on the next edition ever since. The next edition of the 20-volume OED is an estimated ten years from completion — as of now, it’s 28% finished.



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