Reference oxford english dictionary essay

The OUP saw that it would take too long to complete the work with unrevised editorial arrangements. Accordingly, new assistants were hired and two new demands were made on Murray. Murray had his Scriptorium re-erected on his new property. Murray resisted the second demand: that if he could not meet schedule, he must hire a second, senior editor to work in parallel to him, outside his supervision, on words from elsewhere in the alphabet. Murray did not want to share the work, feeling that he would accelerate his work pace with experience.

In , Bradley moved to Oxford University. Gell continued harassing Murray and Bradley with his business concerns—containing costs and speeding production—to the point where the project's collapse seemed likely. Newspapers reported the harassment, particularly the Saturday Review , and public opinion backed the editors. If the editors felt that the dictionary would have to grow larger, it would; it was an important work, and worth the time and money to properly finish. Neither Murray nor Bradley lived to see it.

By then, two additional editors had been promoted from assistant work to independent work, continuing without much trouble. In —, J.


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By early , a total of 11 fascicles had been published, or about one per year: four for A—B , five for C , and two for E. At this point, it was decided to publish the work in smaller and more frequent instalments; once every three months beginning in there would be a fascicle of 64 pages, priced at 2s 6d. If enough material was ready, or even pages would be published together. This pace was maintained until World War I forced reductions in staff.

It then appeared only on the outer covers of the fascicles; the original title was still the official one and was used everywhere else. The th and last fascicle covered words from Wise to the end of W and was published on 19 April , and the full dictionary in bound volumes followed immediately. George Eliot Mary Ann Evans is the most-quoted female writer. Collectively, the Bible is the most-quoted work but in many different translations ; the most-quoted single work is Cursor Mundi.

Additional material for a given letter range continued to be gathered after the corresponding fascicle was printed, with a view towards inclusion in a supplement or revised edition. A one-volume supplement of such material was published in , with entries weighted towards the start of the alphabet where the fascicles were decades old. Also in the original fascicles of the entire dictionary were re-issued, bound into 12 volumes, under the title " The Oxford English Dictionary ".

In , Oxford had finally put the dictionary to rest; all work ended, and the quotation slips went into storage. However, the English language continued to change and, by the time 20 years had passed, the dictionary was outdated.

There were three possible ways to update it. The cheapest would have been to leave the existing work alone and simply compile a new supplement of perhaps one or two volumes; but then anyone looking for a word or sense and unsure of its age would have to look in three different places. The most convenient choice for the user would have been for the entire dictionary to be re-edited and retypeset , with each change included in its proper alphabetical place; but this would have been the most expensive option, with perhaps 15 volumes required to be produced.

The OUP chose a middle approach: combining the new material with the existing supplement to form a larger replacement supplement. Robert Burchfield was hired in to edit the second supplement; [31] Onions turned 84 that year but was still able to make some contributions as well. The work on the supplement was expected to take about seven years. They were published in , , , and respectively, bringing the complete dictionary to 16 volumes, or 17 counting the first supplement.

Burchfield emphasized the inclusion of modern-day language and, through the supplement, the dictionary was expanded to include a wealth of new words from the burgeoning fields of science and technology, as well as popular culture and colloquial speech. Burchfield said that he broadened the scope to include developments of the language in English-speaking regions beyond the United Kingdom , including North America, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India, Pakistan, and the Caribbean.

Burchfield also removed, for unknown reasons, many entries that had been added to the supplement. Some of these had only a single recorded usage, but many had multiple recorded citations, and it ran against what was thought to be the established OED editorial practice and a perception that he had opened up the dictionary to "World English". This was published in at dollars. There were changes in the arrangement of the volumes - for example volume 7 covered only N-Poy, the remaining "P" entries being transferred to volume 8. By the time the new supplement was completed, it was clear that the full text of the dictionary would need to be computerized.

Preparation for this process began in , and editorial work started the following year under the administrative direction of Timothy J. Benbow, with John A. Simpson and Edmund S. Weiner as co-editors. Basic Books, New York. In the United States, more than typists of the International Computaprint Corporation now Reed Tech started keying in over ,, characters, their work checked by 55 proof-readers in England.

Under a agreement, some of this software work was done at the University of Waterloo , Canada, at the Centre for the New Oxford English Dictionary , led by Frank Tompa and Gaston Gonnet ; this search technology went on to become the basis for the Open Text Corporation. Walton Litz , an English professor at Princeton University who served on the Oxford University Press advisory council, was quoted in Time as saying "I've never been associated with a project, I've never even heard of a project, that was so incredibly complicated and that met every deadline. By , the NOED project had achieved its primary goals, and the editors, working online, had successfully combined the original text, Burchfield's supplement, and a small amount of newer material, into a single unified dictionary.

The first edition retronymically became the OED1. The Oxford English Dictionary 2 was printed in 20 volumes. For the second edition, there was no attempt to start them on letter boundaries, and they were made roughly equal in size. The 20 volumes started with A , B. The content of the OED2 is mostly just a reorganization of the earlier corpus, but the retypesetting provided an opportunity for two long-needed format changes. The headword of each entry was no longer capitalized, allowing the user to readily see those words that actually require a capital letter.

The British quiz show Countdown has awarded the leather-bound complete version to the champions of each series since its inception in When the print version of the second edition was published in , the response was enthusiastic. Author Anthony Burgess declared it "the greatest publishing event of the century", as quoted by the Los Angeles Times.

The supplements and their integration into the second edition were a great improvement to the OED as a whole, but it was recognized that most of the entries were still fundamentally unaltered from the first edition. Much of the information in the dictionary published in was already decades out of date, though the supplements had made good progress towards incorporating new vocabulary. Yet many definitions contained disproven scientific theories, outdated historical information, and moral values that were no longer widely accepted. Accordingly, it was recognized that work on a third edition would have to begin to rectify these problems.

However, in the end only three Additions volumes were published this way, two in and one in , [50] [51] [52] each containing about 3, new definitions. New text search databases offered vastly more material for the editors of the dictionary to work with, and with publication on the Web as a possibility, the editors could publish revised entries much more quickly and easily than ever before.

Revisions were started at the letter M , with new material appearing every three months on the OED Online website. The editors chose to start the revision project from the middle of the dictionary in order that the overall quality of entries be made more even, since the later entries in the OED1 generally tended to be better than the earlier ones. However, in March , the editors announced that they would alternate each quarter between moving forward in the alphabet as before and updating "key English words from across the alphabet, along with the other words which make up the alphabetical cluster surrounding them".

The revision is expected roughly to double the dictionary in size. John Simpson was the first chief editor of the OED3. He retired in and was replaced by Michael Proffitt , who is the eighth chief editor of the dictionary. The production of the new edition exploits computer technology, particularly since the June inauguration of the "Perfect All-Singing All-Dancing Editorial and Notation Application ", or "Pasadena". With this XML -based system, lexicographers can spend less effort on presentation issues such as the numbering of definitions.

This system has also simplified the use of the quotations database, and enabled staff in New York to work directly on the dictionary in the same way as their Oxford-based counterparts. Other important computer uses include internet searches for evidence of current usage, and email submissions of quotations by readers and the general public. Wordhunt was a appeal to the general public for help in providing citations for 50 selected recent words, and produced antedatings for many.

The OED ' s readers contribute quotations: the department currently receives about , a year. OED currently contains over , entries. In , the volume OED1 was reprinted as a two-volume Compact Edition , by photographically reducing each page to one-half its linear dimensions; each compact edition page held four OED1 pages in a four-up "4-up" format.


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The two volume letters were A and P ; the first supplement was at the second volume's end. The Compact Edition included, in a small slip-case drawer, a magnifying glass to help in reading reduced type. Many copies were inexpensively distributed through book clubs. In , the second supplement was published as a third volume to the Compact Edition.

Selected encyclopedias and dictionaries

In , for the volume OED2 , the compact edition format was re-sized to one-third of original linear dimensions, a nine-up "9-up" format requiring greater magnification, but allowing publication of a single-volume dictionary. Once the text of the dictionary was digitized and online, it was also available to be published on CD-ROM. The text of the first edition was made available in Version 1 was identical in content to the printed second edition, and the CD itself was not copy-protected.

Version 2 included the Oxford English Dictionary Additions of and Version 3. It has been reported that this version will work on operating systems other than Microsoft Windows , using emulation programs. The online edition is the most up-to-date version of the dictionary available.

The OED web site is not optimized for mobile devices, but the developers have stated that there are plans to provide an API that would enable developers to develop different interfaces for querying the OED. Some public libraries and companies have subscribed, as well, including public libraries in the United Kingdom, where access is funded by the Arts Council , [78] and public libraries in New Zealand.

The OED 's utility and renown as a historical dictionary have led to numerous offspring projects and other dictionaries bearing the Oxford name, though not all are directly related to the OED itself. The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary , originally started in and completed in , [82] is an abridgement of the full work that retains the historical focus, but does not include any words which were obsolete before except those used by Shakespeare , Milton , Spenser , and the King James Bible.

The Concise Oxford Dictionary is a different work, which aims to cover current English only, without the historical focus. Fowler and H. Fowler to be compressed, compact, and concise. Its primary source is the Oxford English Dictionary, and it is nominally an abridgment of the Concise Oxford Dictionary.

Using the Oxford English Dictionary (OED)

It was first published in Instead, it was an entirely new dictionary produced with the aid of corpus linguistics. The OED lists British headword spellings e. For the suffix more commonly spelt -ise in British English, OUP policy dictates a preference for the spelling -ize , e.

However, despite, and at the same time precisely because of, its claims of authority, [94] the dictionary has been criticised since at least the s from various angles. It has become a target precisely because of its scope, its claims to authority, its British-centredness and relative neglect of World Englishes, [95] its implied but not acknowledged focus on literary language and, above all, its influence. The OED, as a commercial product, has always had to manoeuvre a thin line between PR, marketing and scholarship and one can argue that its biggest problem is the critical uptake of the work by the interested public.

In his review of the supplement, [96] University of Oxford linguist Roy Harris writes that criticizing the OED is extremely difficult because "one is dealing not just with a dictionary but with a national institution", one that "has become, like the English monarchy, virtually immune from criticism in principle". He further notes that neologisms from respected "literary" authors such as Samuel Beckett and Virginia Woolf are included, whereas usage of words in newspapers or other less "respectable" sources hold less sway, even though they may be commonly used.

He writes that the OED 's "[b]lack-and-white lexicography is also black-and-white in that it takes upon itself to pronounce authoritatively on the rights and wrongs of usage", faulting the dictionary's prescriptive rather than descriptive usage. To Harris, this prescriptive classification of certain usages as " erroneous " and the complete omission of various forms and usages cumulatively represent the "social bias[es]" of the presumably well-educated and wealthy compilers. However, the identification of "erroneous and catachrestic" usages is being removed from third edition entries, [97] sometimes in favour of usage notes describing the attitudes to language which have previously led to these classifications.

Harris also faults the editors' "donnish conservatism" and their adherence to prudish Victorian morals , citing as an example the non-inclusion of "various centuries-old 'four-letter words ' " until However, no English dictionary included such words, for fear of possible prosecution under British obscenity laws, until after the conclusion of the Lady Chatterley's Lover obscenity trial in The first dictionary to include the word fuck was the Penguin English Dictionary of The OED ' s claims of authority have also been questioned by linguists such as Pius ten Hacken, who notes that the dictionary actively strives towards definitiveness and authority but can only achieve those goals in a limited sense, given the difficulties of defining the scope of what it includes.

Founding editor James Murray was also reluctant to include scientific terms, despite their documentation, unless he felt that they were widely enough used. In , he declined to add the word "radium" to the dictionary. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Premier historical dictionary of the English language. This article is about the multi-volume historical dictionary. For other, smaller, dictionaries published by Oxford, including the one-volume Concise Oxford English Dictionary , see Category:Oxford dictionaries.

For other uses, see OED disambiguation. Seven of the twenty volumes of printed second edition of the Oxford English Dictionary Frederick Furnivall , — This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. February Learn how and when to remove this template message. Dewey Decimal. Main article: Oxford spelling. This section may be unbalanced towards certain viewpoints. Please improve the article by adding information on neglected viewpoints, or discuss the issue on the talk page.

May The Telegraph. Encyclopaedia Britannica The Britannica and more. Encyclopedias The print reference collection on the first floor of the Fletcher Library has additional encyclopedias for literature throughout the P call numbers. Ask at the Information and Research Assistance Desk. Includes full text of journals on literature and literary criticism. Oxford Encyclopedia of American Literature Offers historical perspective and social context of American literature in essays encompassing the range and depth of American literary history from the s to the present day.

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Bibliography | Definition of Bibliography by Lexico

The Encyclopedia includes essays on poets, playwrights, essayists, and novelists, as well as major works and essays on literary movements, periods, and themes. Oxford Encyclopedia of British Literature Provides comprehensive coverage of the entire history of literature in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland in the major literary languages.

Encyclopaedia Britannica Online!

It includes substantial accounts of individual authors and detailed histories of particular themes, movements, genres, and institutions, whose impact upon the writing or the reading of literature was significant. Gale Virtual Reference Library Contains dozens of encyclopedias and other sources, including literature sources.

How To Cite a Dictionary in Chicago/Turabian

It is a very good source for humanities research. Credo Reference Online A huge collection of encyclopedias and dictionaries in all subject areas. Includes 64 literature titles alone. Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism Alphabetically arranged entries on individual critics and theorists, critical and theoretical schools and movements, and the critical and theoretical innovations of specific countries and historical periods. Oxford Classical Dictionary edition online. A edition available in Hayden Stacks. A comprehensive source of reference which aims to answer all questions about the classical world.

Essay: The Oxford English Dictionary

Includes coverage of Greek and Roman history, literature, myth, religion, linguistics, philosophy, law, science, art and archaeology, and topics in near eastern studies and late antiquity. Oxford Encyclopedia of Children's Literature more Comprehensively documents and interprets the books read by children throughout the world. It includes brief biographies of every major author and illustrator as well as feature essays on all genres of children's literature, individual works, and prominent trends and themes, as well as general essays on the traditions of children's literature in many countries throughout the world.