It’s easy for us to find words and their meanings on the web. The dictionary has played a huge role in learning in our lives. This is an interesting post on ‘The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester.’
In 1928, 414,825 words were discerned and discovered and catalogued for publication in the first edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. Before this time, no one had thought to make a list of all English words, to write down the meanings. Not even Shakespeare had means to a dictionary during most of his writing career. He essentially had to find words in other writings, note down words or expressions he had learned in conversations, or just conjure words out of thin air. In fact, many of the words that he invented are in the Dictionary today.
I find this so fascinating. I had always assumed that the great writers of the seventh, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries had access to a reference of words which included usage, meaning and origin. Alas, this was not the case.
One of the books for my Holiday reading is The Meaning of Everything: The…
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