Oxford English Dictionary

Paul ‘scruffy’ Martin tells the story of The Oxford English Dictionary.

At first, the dictionary was unconnected to Oxford University but was the idea of a small group of intellectuals in London; it originally was a Philological Society project conceived in London by Richard Chenevix Trench, Herbert Coleridge, and Frederick Furnivall, who were dissatisfied with the current English dictionaries.

In June 1857, they formed an “Unregistered Words Committee” to search for unlisted and undefined words lacking in current dictionaries.

In November, Trench’s report was not a list of unregistered words; instead, it was the study On Some Deficiencies in our English Dictionaries, which identified seven distinct shortcomings in contemporary dictionaries

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