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'Oxford English Dictionary' May Go All Digital

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'Oxford English Dictionary' May Go All Digital

Strange News

'Oxford English Dictionary' May Go All Digital

'Oxford English Dictionary' May Go All Digital

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/129523257/129523256" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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Oxford University Press, the publisher of the Oxford English Dictionary, said Sunday that it's uncertain whether the 126-year-old dictionary's next edition will be printed in book form. The publisher said many people prefer to look up words using its online product.

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

Look up the word obsolete in a few years, and you could find an example: the Oxford English Dictionary print edition. The complete OED, as it's affectionately known, now gets 2 million hits a month online. The print version, a 20-volume behemoth, sells only about a thousand a year. So the head of Oxford University Press now doubts the next edition of the OED will be offered in the form of a book.

It's MORNING EDITION.

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