Murray's filing system (OUP Museum)
Enter Keywords:
Thursday, 31 January 2013
What does the OED tell us about the English language?
Examining the OED sets out to investigate the principles and practice behind the Oxford English Dictionary, an extraordinary achievement of scholarship and labour and the greatest dictionary of English ever compiled. Click here to buy it on AmazonThe project is wholly independent of the OED itself, and seeks to provide scholarly commentary on and analysis of OED's methodology and practice.

Its main aim is to explore and analyse OED's quotations and quotation sources, so as to illuminate the foundations of the dictionary's representation of the English language.

See About the project for more information, and the site map for a conspectus of the material put up so far.

Current website: you are now viewing a version of the website dating largely from January 2012. Research and publication on the Examining the OED project continues and work is underway on the launch of a new website.

The background to the project is explained in
(Yale University Press, 2007), a history of the OED
in the 20th century. Click here to buy it on Amazon.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 30 January 2013 )
Re-launch of website planned (see info above)

Recent EOED-related publications:

Most recently published on EOED website: OED editions, updates and revisions
This expanded section of the website explains the successive versions of OED and reviews the re-launched OED Online (December 2010), the biggest change to occur in OED since the Dictionary went online in 2000. Major features of the re-launch include powerful new search tools and wide-ranging bibliographical modifications, along with (most unfortunately) the removal of OED2 as a separately searchable entity online. See discussion of all these plus more in the following new pages, which can be accessed by clicking here:

  • Which edition contains what?
  • OED Online and OED3
  • Re-launched OED Online
  • Loss of OED2
  • New search tools
  • Links to HTOED
  • Case study: terms for lesbian(ism)
  • Changes to unrevised OED2
  • Case study: catamite
  • Other changes

Examining the OED was heavily dependent on the data available via the old OED Online website (in particular the searchable version of OED2), which ceased to be available in March 2011. The loss of this invaluable resource means that comparisons between the old and new versions of OED, and assessment of the current revision of the Dictionary, are now either much more difficult or no longer possible. 

Other recent pages on EOED:

OED's treatment of specific female writers of the long eighteenth century (project funded by the Leverhulme Trust), beginning with introductory account here under Types of source. After a note on Reading and recording conventions, individual pages follow on:

Further pages discuss Women's distinctive vocabulary (Distaff and kitchen and Courtship and marriage) and respective numbers of quotations in OED (Men and women compared).
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 30 January 2013 )

Built with Mambo. Any comments or feedback are welcome.
All responsibility for views and data published on this site is that of the author, Charlotte Brewer.
Copyright © 2005-13 Charlotte Brewer. All rights reserved.