Oxford Dictionary too big to print

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The Oxford English Dictionary may soon disappear from bookshelves because future editions could be too big to print.

Currently a team is working on OED3 and they are already running 20 years behind schedule. At this rate the book is not expected to be finished until 2034 and is expected to be twice the size of the last version.

Due to this timeline it is now believed that only an online format would be practicable and affordable.

OED editor Michael Proffitt said the internet had slowed the process by creating so much more source material.

Mr Proffitt’s team of 70 word experts – have been working on the latest version since 1994. They have a target of 50 to 60 words a month.

The second edition, which has nearly one third of a million entries, costs $1500. It has been online since 2000 and receives more than two million hits a month.

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