The Oxford English Dictionary Online


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The Oxford English Dictionary Online

  1. 1. The Oxford EnglishDictionary<br />By Tamara Nogueira<br />
  2. 2. The Oxford English Dictionary is the accepted authority on the evolution of the English language over the last millennium. It is an unsurpassed guide to the meaning, history, and pronunciation of over half a million words, both present and past. It traces the usage of words through 2.5 million quotations from a wide range of international English language sources, from classic literature and specialist periodicals to film scripts and cookery books.<br />
  3. 3. History<br />When the members of the Philological Society of London decided, in 1857, that existing English language dictionaries were incomplete and deficient, and called for a complete re-examination of the language from Anglo-Saxon times onward, they knew they were embarking on an ambitious project. However, even they didn't realize the full extent of the work they initiated, or how long it would take to achieve the final result.<br />
  4. 4. The new dictionary was planned as a four-volume, 6,400-page work that would include all English language vocabulary from the Early Middle English period onward, plus some earlier words if they had continued to be used into Middle English.<br />The project proceeded slowly after the Society's first grand statement of purpose. Eventually, in 1879, the Society made an agreement with the Oxford University Press and James A. H. Murray to begin work on a New English Dictionary<br />
  5. 5. Murray and his team did manage to publish the first part in 1884, but much more comprehensive work was required<br />So…<br />Over the next four decades work on the Dictionary continued and new editors joined the project. Murray now had a large team directed by himself, Henry Bradley, W.A. Craigie, and C.T. Onions. These men worked steadily, producing fascicle after fascicle until finally, in April, 1928, the last volume was published. <br />
  6. 6. By spending $13.5 million in the most adventurous computerization project seen in the publishing industry at that time, Bespoke computer systems were built for both pre-processing the text and editing it in electronic form; text was marked up in the novel SGML encoding scheme; the pages of the old edition and the Supplement were typed again by 120 keyboarders; and more than 50 proofreaders checked the results of their work.<br />MakingitModern<br />
  7. 7. ElectronicAge<br />In 1992 the Oxford English Dictionary again made history when a CD-ROM edition of the work was published. Suddenly a massive, twenty-volume work that takes up four feet of shelf space and weighs 150 pounds is reduced to a slim, shiny disk that takes up virtually no space and weighs just a few ounces.<br />
  8. 8. The Oxford English Dictionary on CD-ROM has been a great success. The electronic format has revolutionized the way people use the Dictionary to search and retrieve information. Complex investigations into word origins or quotations that would have been impossible to conduct using the print edition now take only a few seconds. Because the electronic format makes the Oxford English Dictionary so easy to use, its audience now embraces all kinds of interested readers beyond the confines of the scholarly community.<br />
  9. 9. OED ONLINE<br />
  10. 10. To offer unparalleled access to the wealth of material contained in the 20-volume Oxford English Dictionary and 3-volume Additions Series, online publication enables the ‘treasure-house’ of the English language to move with the times as never before.<br />New material from the £34 million revision program, which began in 1993, is released quarterly, offering online subscribers a unique opportunity to follow the progress of the revision project.<br />
  11. 11. …of OED Online<br />
  12. 12. <ul><li>Use wildcards if you are unsure of a spelling, or if you want to search for words with common characteristics
  13. 13. Search for quotations from a specified year, or from a particular author and/or work
  14. 14. Search for words which have come into English via a particular language
  15. 15. Search pronunciations as well as accented and other special characters
  16. 16. Search for first cited date, authors, and works
  17. 17. Search for words with a particular part of speech
  18. 18. Perform case-sensitive searches
  19. 19. Restrict a search to a previous results set</li></li></ul><li>HOW TO USE THE OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY ONLINE?<br />
  20. 20. OED Online enables you to see how an entry has changed over time.<br />A unique feature of OED Online is the ability to see what both of these different texts said about a word, and to compare them at the click of a button.<br />Every entry is labelled with date of publication and a description of which text it is from, so that its status can be clearly seen.<br />EntryVersions<br />
  21. 21. Some entries from the Additions are complete, free-standing entries. Others add supplementary material to an existing Second Edition entry, which will contain a button indicating this. You will see the supplementary material displayed at the foot of an entry featuring the Additions button.<br />
  22. 22. In the case of those entries which have already been revised and had new research incorporated, a 'Revised draft' version will be available. These draft entries have not been previously published, and may be altered in the future if further relevant material comes to light.<br />
  23. 23. FastSearching<br />
  24. 24. To help you look up the words you want, the site offers several different ways to search.<br />The most straightforward is the simple Find Word search, available at the top right-hand corner of every page. This restricts the search to the defined words and phrases.<br />Simply enter the word you're looking for, click Find Word, and the entry will be displayed if there is a single match, or a results list will be displayed if there is more than one match.<br />
  25. 25. When you type letters into the Find Word box, you can include the '*' character when you don't know exactly how to spell a word, or when you want to ask for everything that begins or ends with a particular sequence of letters.<br />For example, to see all the words and phrases beginning with refuse, enter refuse* into the Find Word box:<br />
  26. 26. To search for references to the word 'ghost' in the titles of quoted works, enter 'ghost' into the search box, select 'quotation work' from the pull-down list, and click Start Search.<br />SPECIFIC SEARCH<br />
  27. 27. This produces the following results list from the Second Edition, which includes links to the entries containing the quotations, as well as direct links into the body of the quotations themselves, surrounded by a little context to show where the word 'ghost' has been found.<br />
  28. 28. PHRASE SEARCH<br />
  29. 29. Just as with the Find Word facility, where you could enter a word, phrase, or pattern with wildcards, so you may also search anywhere in the different text areas or in the whole Dictionary text for occurrences of a phrase which interests you.<br />So to find variations on phrases such as mad as a hatter or mad as a March hare, type 'mad as a' in the first search box, using 'full text' as the selected area, to see how inventively this formula has been used.<br />As usual, the results list appears:<br />
  30. 30. ToSum Up?<br />FAST-<br />VERSATILE-<br />EXACT<br />