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May 27
  The Dictionary
The best language tool
  by Ruth Devlin


For language study, there is no better tool than a dictionary! It helps you understand the usage, the meaning and the spelling of words. English dictionaries have been around since 1604. But in 1857, a group of men in London put together the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). It was released in 12 volumes between 1888 and 1928. In 1989 a second edition was published, and another is now in the works.

  Language is a living thing. At some point, each word in the dictionary was invented. It was then used often enough to be listed in a dictionary. The same is true today. Editors from the OED and other dictionaries monitor print and electronic media. They look for new words that have become common. A word or phrase must be used by a wide range of people. And it must be used to mean pretty much the same thing. In January of this year, the OED added 1,100 words. One example is the phrase “me time,” meaning time devoted to doing what one wants.


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