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Is the Dictionary Dead?

The future of the more than 130-year old Oxford English Dictionary may be headed further toward cyberspace.
OXFORD UNIVERSITY, ENGLAND - The Oxford English Dictionary has long been a standard in most schools, colleges and homes, but publishers say that is changing.

Future generations of students may not get to see those extended entries on paper.

Oxford  publishers say smaller dictionaries will always be available , but the next complete edition will be so big and so expensive it may only be released online.

Fiona Mcpherson, Senior Editor, Oxford English dictionary says "we haven't actually decided whether or not if we are going to print, until once we actually finish the dictionary."

The Oxford English Dictionary is the definitive record of the English language, whether it is the leather and hard bound first edition put out about 130 years ago, or the massive, 20-volume second edition, published in 1989.

More than 70 "dictionary detectives" are working on new words for the third edition.

The concise Oxford Dictionary is updated every few years in print and every quarter on-line.
 
New words include selfie and wackadoodle, but editors say they are only a third of the way through updating the complete edition and publication is at least a decade away.
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