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What is the Oxford English Dictionary - Essay Example

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However, people often do not know anything related to its initial publication. This paper aims to study the history of Oxford English Dictionary from different aspects including its…
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What is the Oxford English Dictionary
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Download file to see previous pages It was first published approximately 150 years back. Since then it has been continuously revised at regular intervals (About).
In 1857 the members of Philological Society of London determined that the dictionaries of English Language were incomplete and required a lot of re-examination starting from the Anglo-Saxon times. In 1879 the Philological Society made a contract with James A. H. Murray and the Oxford University to initiate the process of developing English Dictionary. Murray and his colleagues examined the words of English Language from the last seven centuries (History of the OED). The working team thought that it will take around ten years in completing the project. However, the English words kept on evolving and the process took more years than actually anticipated. Murray and his team published the first version of Oxford English Dictionary in 1884 but it was clearly evident that much more work was left to be done. Later on other editors joined the team including W.A. Craigie, Henry Bradley, and C.T. Onions. The new team worked steadily and published the final volume in April 1928 with more than 400,000 words (History of the OED).
There were several reasons for the publication of Oxford English Dictionary. Early modern period changed the English language since the words used were immensely increased during 1500 to 1650. Words were also taken from Greek and Latin languages which necessitated the development of profound English Dictionary. Moreover, the world was undergoing serious demographic changes such as the shifts from rural to urban areas (Simpson). This subsequently increased the publication of books and other relevant material. Eventually the grammar schools were established which pushed the authorities to revise the English Dictionary. Apart from this the monolingual dictionaries were preceding around the globe while on the other hand the Latin-English Dictionaries were also ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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