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On This Day – 1st February

1st February 2019 @ 6:06am – by Webteam
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The 1st of February 1884

On February 1 1884 the A to Ant section of what we now know as The Oxford English Dictionary was published. Work on the project had begun in 1857, when members of the Philological Society agreed that existing dictionaries of the English language were far from adequate.

Three members of that learned society were the great drivers of the idea in its early days: Herbert Coleridge; Frederick Furnivall ; and Richard Trench. They began by seeking to define words missing from such dictionaries, but soon the project grew in scope.

It was only in 1878 that Oxford University Press agreed to publish the work, and to pay its editor. In spite of this involvement, the work was not known as The Oxford English Dictionary until 1895, its working title until then having been the wordier A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles; Founded Mainly on the Material Collected by The Philological Society.

The first fully bound and complete edition of the work finally appeared in 1928, long after the three men whose original vision it was had died.


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