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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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BEA Dispatch

Purdy, Director of Publicity, is in LA this weekend at Book Expo America. He will be reporting from the action for those of us left in NYC. Live from the convention floor of BEA in LA. For those not in the know BEA stands for Book Expo America, the largest convention of publishers, media, bookstore […]

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Word Origins

In praise of sloth

The hero of today’s blog post is the adjective “slow.” No words look less inspiring, but few are more opaque.

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Word Origins

Dangerous neighbors: “sore” and “sorrow”

Quite naturally, speakers connect words that sound alike. From a strictly scholarly point of view, “sore” and “sorrow” are unrelated, but for centuries, people thought differently, and folk etymology united the two long ago.

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Word Origins

Plain as day?

The Oxford Etymologist looks at the origin of the word “day” and its connections across the Indo-European language world.

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