Next Oxford English Dictionary will only be available digitally

E-Books, Tech Digest news

Oxford-English-Dictionary-001.jpg21 years in the making, and with at least another decade’s left of work for the team of 80 odd lexicographers working on it, compiling the next edition of the Oxford English Dictionary is a pretty mammoth undertaking, to say the least.

However, readers hoping to pick up the stalwart reference manual upon its eventual release in a traditional paper copy had best brace themselves for disappointment. By the looks of things, the Oxford English Dictionary is going all digital.

“The print dictionary market is just disappearing, it is falling away by tens of per cent a year,” Nigel Portwood, the chief executive of OUP, said. When asked if he thought the third edition would get a physical, bound version, he added: “I don’t think so.”

On the one hand, I’m all for the OED going digital-only. It’s always been a hefty old tome, with the last edition available across 20 volumes. There’s definitely a forest somewhere breathing a huge sigh of relief, and being able to carry it around weightlessly in a digital, type-to-search format will make it all the more convenient.

However, nothing really screams “I’m ridiculously, impressively intelligent” than a three-foot thick stack of reference books, and the thought that we may never get to flick through a dog-eared, musty old copy in the local library ever again actually brings a tear to my eye.

Via: The Telegraph

Gerald Lynch
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