Birth of the Dictionary

@RasmaSandra (16566)
Riga, Latvia
February 2, 2018 3:01pm CST
The Oxford English Dictionary or OED was first published on February 1, 1884. It’s considered to be the most comprehensive and accurate dictionary of the English language. It informs people of the meaning, pronunciation and history of more than half a million words. Members of the Philological Society in London, England began making plans for the dictionary in 1857. They wanted to publish an up-to-date and error-free English dictionary that would include vocabulary from the Anglo-Saxon period about 1150 A.D. to the present. The dictionary would come in four-volumes, altogether 6,400 pages and the project would take ten years to complete. The 125th and final separately finished installment of the book was published in April 1928. The full dictionary had more than 400,000 words and phrases in ten volumes and the title was A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles. The OED provided a detailed chronological history of every word and phrase. It also included quotations from many different sources among them classic literature and cookbooks. This dictionary is known for its lengthy cross-references and etymologies. Soon new entries and revisions came out in 1933 and the original dictionary was reprinted in 12 volumes and renamed The Oxford English Dictionary. The updated 4-volume supplement with new terms including words and phrases from North America, Australia, the Caribbean, New Zealand, South Africa and South Asia was put together between 1972 and 1986. In 1984 the Oxford University Press began a five-year project to create an electronic version of the dictionary. A CD-ROM version of the dictionary was released in 1992. The Oxford University Press continues to update quarterly adding more than 1,000 new entries and revisions. Do you use a dictionary or do you get your information online?
8 people like this
8 responses
@just4him (109866)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
2 Feb
I have a couple sets of dictionaries, but most of my dictionary use now is online. That is very interesting information.
1 person likes this
@RasmaSandra (16566)
• Riga, Latvia
4 Feb
I too always check my sources online now but still have some old dictionaries around @Just4Him
1 person likes this
@JohnRoberts (52019)
• Los Angeles, California
2 Feb
No love for Mr. Webster?
1 person likes this
@RasmaSandra (16566)
• Riga, Latvia
4 Feb
Akk if my school dictionaries were Webster ones @JohnRoberts
1 person likes this
@franxav (4699)
3 Feb
I extensively use the dictionary and the Oxford is my favorite.
1 person likes this
@mandala100 (35752)
• Hong Kong
2 Feb
@RasmaSandra Thank you for this discussion and information my friend.
1 person likes this
@marlina (71210)
• Canada
2 Feb
Dictionaries have always been my friends.
1 person likes this
@MALUSE (37818)
• Germany
2 Feb
I love dictionaries but also use online info.
1 person likes this
@jstory07 (65375)
• Roseburg, Oregon
2 Feb
I use a College Dictionary that I have for a long time.
1 person likes this
@Asylum (48283)
• Manchester, England
2 Feb
The Oxford English Dictionary was certainly not the first English Dictionary. Dictionaries have been around since the early 17th century, with the most famous example being compiled by Samuel Johnson in the 18th century.
@RasmaSandra (16566)
• Riga, Latvia
4 Feb
Thank you for the information @Asylum