Archives: Oxford English Dictionary

Inside the making of a dictionary

March 1, 2018 | By Jim Stovall | 3 Comments | Filed in: books, journalism, writers, writing.

Dictionaries are marvels of any language. But English has resisted the orderly cataloguing that has been routine for many other tongues. Early lexicographers believed they could impose some necessary order on the language by setting down spellings and definitions and making them permanent. But the language quickly showed them who was boss.