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Happy 80th Anniversary, Oxford English Dictionary (OED)

Posted on: Nov 12, 2008 @ 9:28:58 am

Ever want to know when "slacker" was first used to describe a person (1798) or what is the female counterpart of "dude"  (it's actually dudine---not dudette)? 

The Oxford English Dictionary,  first published in 1928 in ten volumes, has grown over the decades and seen numerous transformations, including four volumes of supplements, published between 1972 and 1986, the publication of the 20-volume second edition in 1989, the CD-ROM version in 1992, and, finally, the launch of the first online edition in 2000, which continues to be expanded and revised.

Casper Grathwohl, publisher of Oxford Reference, noted,“The world is changing fast and the language is no exception.  How we store, edit, and use dictionary data sets has been transformed. We now have the ability to track and dissect real language on an unprecedented scale. This transparency is having a revolutionary effect on the accuracy and relevancy of our dictionary work.”  In the words of Chief Editor Simpson, the OED continues to be a work-in-progress, with more than 75 dictionary staff members and hundreds of freelance lexicographers and editors contributing to the its ever-growing corpus of entries.

The OED is available electronically from the library catalog, or the list of databases, or on the shelves of the main library reference collection, 2nd (main) floor, at PE1625 .M7 1989.

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