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The possible definition of 'dictionary in book form': extinct, vanished, died out
Oxford University Press is deciding whether to print more editions of The Oxford English Dictionary, which calls itself "the definitive record of the English language."
What? That classic arbiter of words no longer in print form?
According to The Associated Press, the dictionary's publisher is weighing the increased demand for its online version against another print run of books. No doubt it also is keeping in mind the cost factor. It's cheaper to manage an online dictionary than to create volumes of books. For the consumer, the most recent 20-volume set costs $1,165. The digital version is $295 a year at OED.com
Another chink in the armor of the print edition: The digital version is kept updated versus the print edition, which was last published in 1989. That was 21 years ago.
Think how many words have entered our language since then, including USB flash drive and ring tone (These all are words that have been added to the online version and were scheduled for the new print edition.)
As harrowing as the AP report is, the most troublesome quote comes from the chief executive of the Oxford University Press: "The print dictionary market is just disappearing. It is falling away by tens of percent a year."