Making the Most of the Oxford English Dictionary

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Covers the Oxford English Dictionary online, including the Historical Thesaurus.

Covers the Oxford English Dictionary online, including the Historical Thesaurus.

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  • 1. Making the Most of the Oxford English Dictionary. Paul Keith ASID 2011
  • 2. Objectives
  • 3. At the end of this workshop, you will be able to: 1. Describe the Oxford English Dictionary to patrons and friends 2. Provide the correct resource to the question: “I need a dictionary.”
  • 4. At the end of this workshop, you will be able to: 3. Look up a word in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) and “read” an entry. 4. Find “earlier” synonyms using the Historical Thesaurus.
  • 5. Sample entries from Motor Car (Historical Thesaurus)
    • motor carriage (1894)
    • motor car (1895)
    • car (1896)
    • touring car (1903)
    • station wagon (1904)
    • town car (1907)
    • coupe (1908)
    • four seater (1909)
    • convertible (1916)
    • sports car (1919)
    • lemon (1931)
    • hard top (1949)
    • rag top (1952)
    • company car (1961)
    • second car (1966)
    • hatchback (1970)
    • pimpmobile (1971)
  • 6. What it is.
  • 7. The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is an unabridged, descriptive, authoritative, out-of-date, up-to-date, scholarly dictionary of the English Language as it has been written and is written throughout the world.
  • 8. The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is not the Oxford Dictionary of English.
  • 9. When to use the OED.
  • 10.
    • adults and high school students
    • with Internet access
    • historical meanings/history of words
    • recent words
    • very rare words
  • 11. When not to use the OED.
  • 12.
    • elementary school students
    • ESL students
    • no Internet access
    • contemporary meanings
    • proper usage
  • 13. Let’s review.
  • 14. Name some words you could use to describe the Oxford English Dictionary.
  • 15. When should you use the OED?
  • 16. When is it better to suggest another dictionary?
  • 17. Where will you find a link to the OED on the CPL website?
  • 18. Where can you find “historical” synonyms for a word? When might you use this feature?
  • 19.