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The Oxford English Dictionary


L'Oxford English Dictionary è il vocabolario voluto da un gruppo di lessicografi che si prefisse di registrare tutti i vocaboli inglesi che si usavano (ed erano stati usati) nel mondo. Fu un progetto colossale che si concluse dopo più di settant'anni. Te lo raccontiamo in questo video.

The Oxford English Dictionary is considered the definitive record of the English language.
It was the brainchild of a group of 19th-century intellectuals belonging to the Philological Society in London. In 1857 they proposed the creation of a revolutionary new dictionary.
Rather than simply state what words should mean according to a few academics, it would describe a word’s real usage in its many variations throughout the world. It would also include obsolete words and trace the historical development of the English language.
People from all over the English-speaking world would be consulted and asked to write down words in the context of sentences on slips of paper and send them in.
Unsurprisingly, at first this process was very disorganised. It was James Murray, a Scotsman and a self-educated polylinguist who brought discipline to the Oxford English Dictionary.
He offered his garden shed in Oxford as a place where the slips of paper were organised. They called it the Scriptorium. To everyone’s surprise, the dictionary’s biggest contributor was an American convict who was serving a life sentence in a nearby prison.  
The dictionary was first published in its entirety in 1928. It filled ten volumes and took 70 years to compile. Since 2000 the Oxford English Dictionary has been available online.
Meanwhile, the OED print version is being completely revised, with the aim of producing an updated third edition in 2037.