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The OED is 80: Postcards from Oxford

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.

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Absurd entries in the OED: an introduction by Ammon Shea

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.

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How the OED Got Shorter

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.

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The Oxford English Dictionary: “my favorite book ever”

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.

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