Oxford and the Dictionary [PDF Library]
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3 Oxford and the Dictionary Dictionar y Our range o over 500 dictionaries, thesauruses, and language reerence works caters or the needs o very young children up to the accomplished academic, and or speakers o dierent languages across the world.
Dierent types o dictionary ❖ The Oxord English Dictionary – the denitive record o the English language since
1150 ❖ Dictionaries o current English or general reerence and academic study ❖ Dictionaries or children and students to the age o 16, supporting dierent
curricula and international qualications such as the iGSCE ❖ Dictionaries or learning English – designed or learners o English as a oreign
language. These are published or dierent countries around the world. ❖ Bilingual dictionaries or people learning and using other languages. Oxord
publishes dictionaries in over 40 languages, rom modern European languages to classical languages, as well as languages rom around t he world, including Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Gujarati, and Swahili. ❖ Dictionaries looking at dierent varieties o English, such as Canadian, Australian,
and South Arican English
The Oxford English Dictionary Perhaps the most amous English dictionary in the world is the Oxord English Dictionary (OED). The dictionary was the brain-child o the Philological Society o London, whose members started collecting examples o word usage or what was to become the OED in the late 1850s. In 1879 Oxord University Press agreed to take over the work, appointing an editor and revitalizing the data collection: words and their meanings were sent to the dictionary’s oce or ‘scriptorium’ by members o the public on ‘slips’, creating what was then the world’s largest paper-based corpus or word bank. The dictionary was published in instalments between 1884 and 1928, but it soon had to be expanded as new words and meanings continued to food into the language, and so over the period 1933-86 ve supplementary volumes were published. Today, the Oxord English Dictionary is the accepted authority on the evolution o the English language over the last millennium. It is an unsurpassed guide to the meaning, history, and pronunciation o over 600,000 words, both present and past. It traces the usage o words through 2.5 million quotations rom a wide range o international English language sources across the English-speaking world, rom classic literature and specialist periodicals to lm scripts and cookery books. Entries also contain detailed etymological analysis, making the OED a unique historical record o the English language. The Second Edition o the OED is currently available as a 20-volume print edition, on CD-ROM, and also online, where the text is now or the rst time being completely revised to produce a Third Edition. Updated quarterly with some 2,500 new and revised entries, OED Online oers unparalleled access to ‘the greatest dictionary in any language’ ( Daily Telegraph ).
Dictionaries o current English or reerence and academic study Oxord publishes an extensive range o dictionaries to meet the changing needs o dictionary users, including versions on CD-ROMs and online. The range includes dictionaries or students at college and university, dictionaries or amily reerence, and or use at work. The world-amous Concise Oxord English Dictionary , now in its eleventh edition, has been in print or over 90 years.
Dictionaries written specifcally or Children Oxord also prides itsel on creating dictionaries with age-appropriate content. This is particularly important or children when they are rst starting to use dictionaries. Through a rigorous approach o including child-riendly denitions, examples in the context o the younger audience’s experiences, and example sentences rom children’s literature spanning a century o works, the Oxord English Dictionary or Schools leads the way and heads a complete range o children’s dictionaries or use at home and school.
Learning English as a Foreign Language In the 1940s, A.S. Hornby, an English Language teacher working in Japan, compiled the groundbreaking Oxord Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (OALD). Hornby realized that people learning English as a oreign language need a special type o dictionary: a learner’s dictionary. His ideas put the learners rst, providing clear explanations, example sentences, and help with using words correctly. Now in its seventh edition, and standing rm as the best-selling advanced learner’s dictionary or over 50 years, the OALD has more words, more synonyms, and more help than any other advanced learner’s dictionary.
Dictionaries or dierent varieties o English Oxord publishes dictionaries in a number o dierent countries, including: ❖ Australia and New Zealand – where
OUP publishes dictionaries and thesauruses or Primary and Secondary schools. Monolingual dictionaries or adults and Higher Education are also available. There are also specic dictionaries developed or Primary and Secondary schools in Papua New Guinea. ❖ Canada – where OUP oers a range o
monolingual Canadian dictionaries or the adult and school markets as well as companion thesauruses. ❖ China – or regional and international
markets, OUP China publishes EnglishChinese dictionaries and a broad range o college, academic, and general titles about and or China, again both in English and in Chinese. ❖ Malaysia – where OUP publishes local dictionaries in Malay, English, Chinese,
Arabic, and Tamil. These are developed or Primary and Secondary schools. OUP also oers local learner’s and monolingual dictionaries developed or the adult and Higher Education markets. ❖ India – where OUP publishes bilingual dictionaries in Hindi, Bengali, Oriya,
Gujarati, Marathi, Kannada, etc. The range includes dictionaries or school and higher education students as well as the general reader. ❖ Pakistan – where OUP oers a range o English–Urdu dictionaries or the general
reader and school students. Dictionaries or Sindhi speakers are in development. ❖ Kenya and Tanzania – where Kiswahili dictionaries have been created or Primary
schools and or general readers. ❖ South Africa – where a wide range o local dictionaries are available or schools and
general readers. As well as monolingual local dictionaries, the new bilingual range includes dictionaries or speakers o Arikaans, IsiXhosa, IsiZulu, Siswati, Sepedi, Sesotho, and Setswana.
What makes an Oxford Dictionary? People nd dictionary-making ascinating. The 250th anniversary o Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary in 2005 was widely celebrated, and the recent BBC television series Balderdash and Pife had a huge response to its call to viewers to help track down elusive word and phrase origins or the OED. But how are dictionaries written today? And how do you know that what is included in a dictionary is accurate and up to date?
Oxord English Corpus – language research based on real evidence A corpus is a collection o texts o written (or spoken) language presented in electronic orm. It provides the evidence o how language is used in real situations, rom which lexicographers can write accurate and meaningul dictionary entries. The Oxord English Corpus is at the heart o dictionary-making in Oxord in the 21st century and ensures that OUP can track and record the very latest developments in language today. By analysing the corpus and using special sotware, we can see words in context and nd out how new words and senses are emerging, as well as spotting other trends in usage, spelling, World English, and more. The Oxord English Corpus gives us the ullest, most accurate picture o the language today. It represents all types o English, rom literary novels and specialist journals to everyday newspapers and magazines as well as the language o chatrooms, emails, and weblogs. And, as English is a global language, used by an estimated one third o the world’s population, the Oxord English Corpus contains language rom all parts o the world – not only rom the UK and the United States but also rom Australia, the Caribbean, Canada, India, Singapore, and South Arica. It is the largest English corpus o its type: the most representative slice o the English language available. Oxord Dictionaries are continually monitoring and researching how language is evolving. The Oxord English Corpus is central to the process and to Oxord’s £35 million research programme – the largest language research programme in the world. Meanings o words and phrases change and so do spellings, despite the existence o ‘standard’ or ‘correct’ spelling. A strength o the corpus is that it contains not only published works in which the text has been edited (and made to conorm to standard spellings and grammar) but also unpublished and unedited writing like emails and weblogs.
The Oxord Reading Programme The Oxord Reading Programme exists to provide Oxord lexicographers with evidence o how words are used today in the English-speaking world, and to alert them to the emergence o new words. The programme maintains a network o voluntary and paid readers who provide editors with quotations which illustrate how words are used. Until the 1990s the quotations were kept on alphabetically led slips o paper. Now they are entered on a searchable database called ‘Incomings’ which currently contains some 62 million words; on average, 17,000 quotations are sent in by readers every month. The Oxord Reading Programme has its origins in the programme o reading that was started in 1857 or the Oxord English Dictionary .
The range and quality o an Oxord Dictionary is beyond compare. Whatever your language needs and abilities, Oxord University Press has a dictionary or you. To nd out more about the Oxord dictionaries available in your country, please visit your local Oxord University Press website’s Dictionary section.