Books: A Scholarly Everest Gets Bigger

The Oxford English Dictionary updates and goes electronic

There will be no greater publishing event this century than the appearance of the new OED.

-- Anthony Burgess

This eye-popping blurb -- about a dictionary, no less -- may seem a bit of a stretcher. But the Oxford English Dictionary is not just another reference book, an arcane preserve of scholars and authors, like Burgess, who use language to make their livings. Since its completion in 1928, exactly 71 years after it was proposed at a meeting of the Philological Society in London, the OED has stood as the ultimate authority on the tongue of Shakespeare and the King James...

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