Talk:Oxford English Dictionary

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Cscr-former.svg Oxford English Dictionary is a former featured article candidate. Please view the links under Article milestones below to see why the nomination failed. For older candidates, please check the archive.
June 10, 2014 Featured article candidate Not promoted
          This article is of interest to the following WikiProjects:
WikiProject United Kingdom (Rated Start-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject United Kingdom, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of the United Kingdom on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Linguistics (Rated Start-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Linguistics, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Linguistics on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Books (Rated Start-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Books. To participate in the project, please visit its page, where you can join the project and discuss matters related to book articles. To use this banner, please refer to the documentation. To improve this article, please refer to the relevant guideline for the type of work.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.

How do you say OED?[edit]

Is it O.E.D. or ode? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:07, 24 September 2010 (UTC)

I have only ever heard O.E.D. (letters pronounced separately). By the way, in the future for questions like this you can turn to the Wikipedia:Reference desk. Lesgles (talk) 08:22, 30 May 2011 (UTC)
I'd beg to differ. I am quite certain it is pronounced "oh-ee-dee". Furthermore, questions regarding the subject of an article, such as the above, should be asked in discussion pages as it allows the editors to gauge what is missing in the article and amend it: for every question asked one can be sure there where umpteen times that number in people wondering the same and not asking. --Squidonius (talk) 21:01, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

cd screenshot[edit]

new screenshot added of cd v4.0 win7 added --Umar1996 (talk) 12:59, 17 October 2010 (UTC)


Since this article is about the Oxford English Dictionary itself, shouldn't it use OED spelling? Bob A (talk) 17:38, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

What did you have in mind? There's an OUP spelling style, but not a specifically OED spelling (it records all spellings, in general). quota (talk) 08:59, 23 October 2010 (UTC)

The appropriate style is the one in use throughout wiki if there is one. If there is not a style, then that is the style that should be used. It is not correct in English to adapt to local styles so for instance we say Paris, not Pahree. If you look at the OED entry for France, it is unlikely it is written in French, so even their style takes that approach.

The Pocket Oxford Dictionary of Current English[edit]

Also called the "Pocket Oxford Dictionary" is not on this page. Why is this? Snowman (talk) 08:53, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

Agreed. From the OUP site there is also: the Compact Oxford Dictionary & Thesaurus; the Oxford Paperback Dictionary & Thesaurus; the Little Oxford Dictionary and Thesaurus; the Oxford Dictionary and Thesaurus; the Oxford Dictionary of English; the Pocket Oxford English Dictionary; and the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary Deluxe Edition. It would be great if someone could classify all these into some intelligible taxonomy and add it to the article. Oxford University Press seem unwilling/incapable of doing it. (talk) 13:05, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
I have had occasion to consult at least one of those pocket editions and found it to be pretty awful. There's a similar problem with the Merriam-Webster: unabridged (excellent), collegiate (excellent), high-school edition (awful). If we could just find a tactful and diplomatic way of saying that. Zyxwv99 (talk) 14:31, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
I am surprised to note that we do not have edition of Oxford Dictionary that can open in Linux. Linux versions are growing in use and so some dictionary should be available. Pathare Prabhu (talk) 06:55, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

close paraphrasing[edit]

Two paragraphs of the wikipedia article are very close paraphrases of the article on the OED in the Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language. Here are the two paragraphs:

Furnivall understood the need for an efficient excerpting system, and instituted several prefatory projects. In 1864, he founded the Early English Text Society, and in 1868, he founded the Chaucer Society for preparing general benefit editions of immediate value to the dictionary project. The compilation lasted 21 years.[citation needed]
Despite the participation of some 800 volunteer readers, the technology of paper-and-ink was the major drawback regarding the arbitrary choices of relatively untrained volunteers about "what to read and select" and "what to discard."[cite this quote][clarification needed]

And here is the relevant text from the Companion:

On his premature death in 1861 at 31, the editorship passed to Furnivall, who realized that an efficient system of excerpting was needed. This meant that for the earlier centuries printed texts had to be prepared of manuscripts not hitherto easily available; he therefore founded in 1864 the Early English Text Society and in 1865 the Chaucer Society, preparing editions of texts of general benefit as well as immediate value to the project. None of this work, however, led to compilation; it was entirely preparatory and lasted for 21 years. There were in the end some 800 voluntary readers. Their enthusiasm was enormous, but in a process which depended on paper and pen alone a major drawback was the often arbitrary choices made by the relatively untrained volunteers regarding what to read and select, what to discard, and how much detail to provide.

I am going to rewrite these two paragraphs both for clarity and to properly cite the source. GabrielF (talk) 17:10, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

Definitions or Descriptions?[edit]

@Quota: I don't know what your source is for saying that the OED "doesn't define meanings." The back of my Concise OED (2002) says, "This world-famous dictionary provides a comprehensive description of the English language..."; of course I can't dispute the fact that the OED 'describes' the words it 'defines', but it does also define. Forgive me for quibbling. Throughout the introduction to that dictionary, the authors refer to the entries as 'definitions.' (To delve into nerdiness, it is not clear whether an individual definition refers to the entire entry for a word or just one of the numbered components thereof, which the introduction refers to interchangeably as 'meanings', 'senses', etc. If there are 600,000 entries, there may be 600,000 definitions or there may only be definitions for 600,000 words.) Tdimhcs (talk) 17:55, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

(Sorry about the delay in replying.) You may be confusing the Concise OED with the OED. The former is indeed a 'prescriptive' dictionary (which attempts to offer definitions and decscribe 'correct' usage, etc.). The latter simply documents words, describes their common meanings, and illustrates their usage (whether 'correct' or not). Hope that helps. quota (talk) 13:21, 19 August 2011 (UTC)


I expanded the template, Template:Dictionaries of English, and added it to this article, and a few others. Does this seem useful? should i add pub dates? is it correct in its categorizing?Mercurywoodrose (talk) 06:12, 31 October 2011 (UTC)


It is humorus that reference is made to several foreign dictionaries as preceding the OED, but not Webster's dictionary which was the standard for comprehensive English language dictionaries for much of the 19th century (in both America and England). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:30, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

This doesn't seem substantiated by the entries here according to which there were several English dictionaries that preceded the Oxford project and Webster's was a dictionary of American English and a work of an entirely different order. LookingGlass (talk) 13:13, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

File:OED2-CD-1.png Nominated for speedy Deletion[edit]


An image used in this article, File:OED2-CD-1.png, has been nominated for speedy deletion for the following reason: Wikipedia files with no non-free use rationale as of 18 November 2011

What should I do?

Don't panic; you should have time to contest the deletion (although please review deletion guidelines before doing so). The best way to contest this form of deletion is by posting on the image talk page.

  • If the image is non-free then you may need to provide a fair use rationale
  • If the image isn't freely licensed and there is no fair use rationale, then it cannot be uploaded or used.
  • If the image has already been deleted you may want to try Deletion Review

This notification is provided by a Bot --CommonsNotificationBot (talk) 12:09, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Correction to Criticisms Section[edit]

This message is being posted on behalf of Oxford University Press by whom I am employed. I am asking the Wikipedia community for help with this issue as I am mindful of not violating Wikipedia’s COI guidelines.

There is a factual mistake under the ‘Criticisms’ section of this article where it states ‘The iOS version of the OED has used Twitter account access to falsely accuse legitimate users of pirating the software.’ There is not and has never been an OED app. This statement relates to a temporary problem experienced by some users of a third party app that used non-OED dictionary data licensed from OUP. The article which this statement references is also incorrect in referring to the OED and the original author has been notified.

We get regular customer queries about the availability of an OED app and we do not wish to create any confusion over what products we have available so please could this statement be removed from the OED article? All help is greatly appreciated

Regards, Stephen — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:01, 22 November 2012 (UTC)

Online version(s)?[edit]

Hello! What is the difference between and Thanks! BigSteve (talk) 11:07, 23 November 2012 (UTC)


From the article: "Burchfield also broadened the scope to include developments of the language in English-speaking regions beyond the United Kingdom, including North America, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India, Pakistan, and the Caribbean." This recent Guardian article would seem to call that into question. - Jmabel | Talk 00:51, 27 November 2012 (UTC)

Added a brief mention to this article and the piece on Burchfield. A check for other potential sources on this issue reveals that, so far, they are largely derived from the Guardian article. Philip Cross (talk) 11:25, 27 November 2012 (UTC)


Am I just reading too much into it, or does the term "self-styled" seem rather loaded when used the way it is in the opening paragraph? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:25, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

You are too kind, it is snarky in tone. If a criticism needs to be made, it should be in the section provided for that. It is probably an accurate statement, but it is not balanced in tone with the rest of wiki entries where this could be said. Worse for the reputation of wikipedia is that in some regard they are in competition with the OED, and as such this kind of comment looks self-absorbed, and brings discredit on wiki. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:05, 29 January 2013 (UTC)

This phrasing "...the self-styled premier dictionary of the English language" is insulting. The OED is generally regarded as the premier dictionary of the English language by anyone qualified to express an opinion. Arcanicus (talk) 08:48, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

Right, I've been bold and tried to sort this one out. "Self-styled" is innaccurate and insulting and I have removed it. However " THE premier" is debatable, particularly in the USA where Webster's is preferred. I have therefore changed it to ""the premier British dictionary" which I hope is in line with concensus. Martin of Sheffield (talk) 11:34, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

OED as a physicists' source research[edit]

Physicists Explore The Rise And Fall Of Words. Apparently, some physicists used the OED as a great example of analyzing words. I think some links to an academic paper about this would improve this article. Komitsuki (talk) 18:13, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

OED2 template[edit]

Is there a template specifically for the second edition? I use a copy of it and don't want citations to incorrectly show OED3. Martin of Sheffield (talk) 17:40, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

I've just created {{OED1}} and {{OED2}} for this express purpose. Martin of Sheffield (talk) 21:28, 24 June 2014 (UTC)

New editor[edit]

According to John Simpson will soon retire as editor, being replaced (effective 1 November 2013) by Michael Proffitt. Mitch Ames (talk) 10:47, 15 October 2013 (UTC)

Done; article needed though. Johnbod (talk) 11:32, 15 October 2013 (UTC)