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Thursday, 31 January 2013
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Outline material
The first OED lexicographers set out to record every word in the language which had been printed from 1150 to 1850 or so, and therefore they and their readers tried to read through all available sources in order to find significant illustrative examples of usage from which they could construct their definitions. They assembled about 5 million such examples, from which they printed about 2 million in the dictionary itself to provide evidence for their analysis of meaning. It is these printed examples, or quotations – on which the OED is based – which our project is investigating.

1150-1899
1150-1499
1500-1899
STC 1500-1799
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