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Digital Dictionary?

Posted By Correy Robertson On August 31, 2010 @ 12:20 pm In The Download | No Comments

I saw this in the news yesterday and am seeing it pop up again today: The Oxford English Dictionary may never be printed again!
AFP (and other sources) report that the new (and third) edition of the “bible of the English language” may never appear in print – and be only accessible to uses online. No *final* decision has been made, and the new edition will not be expected for another decade or so. By then, who knows how we will be reading books?
The popularity of digital books is already on the rise, and printed books – including the dictionary – could be obsolete by the time the new edition is ready. According to this ABC News article, the online version of the Oxford English Dictionary receives 2 million hits per month – from subscribers who pay $295 per year, while the current print edition has sold just 30,000 sets in total since its publishing in 1989.
The article also talks about the loss of language because of technology and texting. In China, young people are forgetting characters they’ve memorized since childhood because of texting. Could this digital age be the end of linguistics as we know it?
What do you think? Do you use a print dictionary or rely on the internet for definitions and spellings? Is the digital age’s next “casualty” the printed dictionary?


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