Dictionary dreams?

I've moved on from Oxford physically, and so I shall virtually -- but first: A highlight of the visit was a panel discussion in the Bodleian Library, with Lynda Mugglestone, the author of Lost for Words, introducing and moderating; Simon Winchester, speaking entertainingly about the history of the OED; John Simpson, the editor in chief of the OED, talking about the dictionary as it is now; and Ammon Shea, talking about the discoveries he made while researching and writing his new book Reading the OED. (For local color and visuals of the library, see Maud Newton's blog -- Maud was also at Oxford for the dictionary celebration.)

It was such a treat to be among people who take dictionaries seriously, each in his or her (I admit I mustn't say "their" -- but I still wish I could) own way. It was a treat to be in a place where the future of dictionaries is considered to merit visionary thinking -- not to mention money.

I'll write later about the ways in which I think dictionaries are often misused and misunderstood. If you have any stories to share about misuses or misunderstandings, or any ideas about what future dictionaries might look like, do tell.

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