Oxford English Dictionary

Entertainment / Literature / Oxford English Dictionary: This fat, twelve+ volume work functions as an historical dictionary of English. It is generally considered the most authoritative and scholarly dictionary of English available--with nearly 300,000 word entries in its most recent form. Scholars refer to it lovingly as the OED. The project arose out of meetings of the Philological Society of London in 1857, and in January of 1858, the society passed a resolution to begin the OED's creation. The task was to record every word that could be found in English from around 1000 CE and to exhibit its history: i.e, where the word first appeared in surviving writings, and how its spelling, meaning, and form changed across the years. This would be illustrated by quoting example texts using the word in each decade. Herbert Coleridge functioned as the first editor, but medievalist F. J. Furnivall oversaw much of the initial work. The OED's first installment (A') came out in 1884, and the complete first edition came out piecemeal over time. In 1933, a supplementary volume followed the complete set. A newer four volume supplement came out piecemeal between 1972 and 1986--and an amalgamated second edition in 1989. Oxford University Press is currently working on an exciting third edition.
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Historical Dictionary

Entertainment / Literature / Historical Dictionary: A dictionary that traces the changes in a word's meaning by listing its entries chronologically and providing quotations using the word in that particular sense as illustrative examples. The Oxford En MORE

Modern English

Entertainment / Literature / Modern English: The English language as spoken between about 1450 and the modern day. The language you are speaking now and the language Shakespeare spoke are both considered examples of Modern English. Modern Englis MORE

Middle English

Entertainment / Literature / Middle English: The version of English spoken after the Norman Conquest from 1066 but before 1450 or so. Before the Norman Conquest, the common version of English was Old English or Anglo-Saxon, a Germanic language t MORE