John McGrath the genius behind Wordie.org fills in for Ben Zimmer.
An excerpt from Ammon Shea’s Reading The OED.
Like most postcards, this post comes many days after I have returned from Oxford and the 80th anniversary celebration of the OED. My last post left off on Monday after our lunch at the Eagle and Child Pub where Simon Winchester and Ammon Shea joined us for fish and chips and pints of English beer.
All dictionaries have mistakes. Ghost words creep in, there are occasional misspellings, or perhaps the printer was hung over one day and misplaced some punctuation. In addition to these normal forms of human error there are others that are created by language, as it continues its inexorable change.
‘The Oxford English Dictionary: Past, Present, and Future’ at the Bodleian Library, Oxford.
Ammon Shea shares some advice for beginning dictionary readers.
A closer look at the most recent OED update.
Ammon Shea looks at the word “make.”
A crossword puzzle based on Reading the OED.
Ben’s column this week looks at the fascinating history of the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary. He explains how the OED, quite possibly OUP’s most important book (well, series of books), got trimmed to a manageable two volumes and why this development was important.
Ammon Shea tells us why book spines inspire him.
Ammon Shea on reading the OED.
Ammon reflects on note-taking.
The answers to the Reading the OED crossword puzzle.
Ammon Shea has a reading dilemma.
By Michael P. Adams
As the year draws to a close, we’ve been reflecting on all the wonderful books we’ve read in 2011, and in doing so, we’ve also realized there are some classics worth revisiting. The authors and friends of Oxford University Press are proud to present this series of essays, which will appear regularly until the New Year, drawing our attention to books both new and old. Here, Michael Adams, author of From Elvish to Klingon, writes about the 1961 print edition of the Oxford English Dictionary.