Digital look-up threatens future dictionary printing
August 29th, 2010

oed80

Have we seen the last printed version of the Oxford English Dictionary? An AP article takes a look:

“At present we are experiencing increasing demand for the online product,” a statement from the publisher said. “However a print version will certainly be considered if there is sufficient demand at the time of publication.”

Nigel Portwood, chief executive of Oxford University Press, told The Sunday Times in an interview he didn’t think the newest edition will be printed. “The print dictionary market is just disappearing, it is falling away by tens of percent a year,” he said.

Although the comments relate primarily to the full-length dictionary, the publisher says the convenience of the electronic format is also affecting demand for its shorter dictionaries. . . .

Is the probable fate of the venerable OEM a harbinger of what is happening to many other kinds of printed books? My guess is yes.


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