Are Dictionaries really necessary?

We like to think so! Almost everyone who uses the English language will have some need to use a dictionary and many people need to use one every single day.

In fact, there are so many different ways to use a dictionary and so many people who need to use them that dictionaries have evolved to fit every conceivable need. These include checking spellings, finding out the basic meaning of a word or its pronunciation or discovering the word's origin. People learning English as a second language have special requirements and the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary will explain things that a native speaker would understand but might give difficulty to a foreign learner. And those who need a detailed analysis of the entire history of every word ever used in English will turn to the great 20-volume Oxford English Dictionary.

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Is there An Official Committee which regulates the English language?
Do you include words used on the Internet?
Are Lexicographers good spellers?
Are Dictionaries really necessary?
Are dictionaries always in Alphabetical Order?
What is a Dictionary?

What are the Oxford Dictionary?
Are other languages recorded in huge Multi-Volume Dictionaries?
Do Dictionary-Makers ever make mistakes?
What is the chronology of events relevant to the history of the OED?
How can I access Dictionary Online?

How do you decide What To Include in a dictionary?
How do you decide If a New Word should go in an Oxford Dictionary?
Will the Dictionary-Makers put MY NEW WORD into their dictionaries?
How will be a Dictionary In 2050?
How has Computer Technology affected dictionary-making?

How do you know what a word means?
Dictionaries have changed over the years. How?
When will the Third Edition of the OED be published?
What skills and talents does a Lexicographer need?
How will The Revision affect the size of the OED?

Frequently Asked Questions Index

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