What does the OED tell us about the English language?
Examining the OED (EOED) sets out to investigate the principles and practice behind the Oxford English Dictionary, an extraordinary achievement of scholarship and labour and the greatest dictionary of English ever compiled. The project is wholly independent of the OED itself. Its main aim is to explore and analyse OED’s quotations and quotation sources, so as to illuminate the foundations of this dictionary’s representation of the English language.
New posts and pages
- Chronological coverage in OED2 and OED3: new scholarship or old?
- OED Text Visualizer tool
- Urgent issues for OED Online
New and most recent pages:
- Dictionaries – how the OED has drawn on evidence from other dictionaries in the past and continues to do so today
- Sex and gender (initial notes & references) – start of a new section on the treatment of sex and gender in the OED from its first edition to the present day
- Newspapers (initial material) – different views over time of the importance of newspapers as quotation sources for the OED
- 1930 onwards in OED3 – how is OED3 changing our picture of the English language?
- Usage and correctness (initial references) – published work (with links to text where available) on OED’s attempts – whether successful or unsuccessful – to represent language as actually used, as opposed to meeting public expectations that the Dictionary should set a standard
- 1930-1989 in OED2 – treatment of this period in the second edition of OED (published 1989)
- 1800-1929 in OED3 – treatment of this period in the new OED3 revision
The background to the project is explained in Treasure-House of the Language: The Living OED (Yale University Press, 2007), a history of the OED in the 20th century.
The current version of the EOED website, re-launched in 2019, contains new content as well as updated and re-organized material from the old website (2005-12). The new elements on the website – including information and charts on the progress of OED3, the first-ever revision of OED which has been underway in Oxford since 2000 – are outlined at EOED content. Links to the old site will take you to the new version of the EOED page or, if appropriate, to the archived version (which can be independently accessed via the link at the foot of each page of the new site).
Last updated on 7 September 2020