Thursday, 19 April 2012

365 Reasons To Be Proud To Be British: The Oxford English Dictionary

April 19th 1928: The last section of A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles is published.

Show me the adolescent who insists they haven't looked up a rude word in a dictionary and I'll show you someone who "speaks untruthfully with intent to mislead or deceive".

Released in sections over four decades, "A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles" was immediately reprinted and renamed the "Oxford English Dictionary".

In the pre-internet days, if you didn't understand a word you looked it up in a big papery thing tied together with string. I carried a dictionary around with me all my school days. I still have several; general ones from Oxford and Collins dotted around the house, specialist ones, foreign ones. I still love sticking my nose into them at random and finding words, birds, cities or citizens that I've never heard of.

For me, dictionaries are never a means to an end. They're the first step on a broader learning journey.

So, with due reference to Edmund Blackadder, I'd like to thank the OED and offer them my most enthusiastic contrafribularities.

By Simon Johnson with No comments


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