Mac OED due out soon

Just in case anyone else didn’t know, a new 2nd edition full Oxford English Dictionary is to be released soon.

I for one am saving pennies now.

I want, I want. Could you please be so kind as to post an update here when it is released? No doubt I’ll forget all about it, but I would love to buy it when it’s released. I’ve only ever browsed through the full OED in university libraries, and you can get lost in it for hours…
All the best,

Showing my ignorance does the OED have the etymology or source of the word ?

That for me is interesting and a great way to procrastinate. Even better than Wikipedia in a foreign language.


Yes it has etymologies. It references words from their first recorded use and, supported by quotations, each shift in nuance thereafter. The current printed edition runs to 20 volumes. (I was lucky enough a few years ago to get the “Compact” version which is a huge single tome with 9 pages of the original photo-reduced onto each page. It comes with its own magnifying glass, but my eyes - not to mention my biceps - are not what they were which is why the above will be so welcome.) The Dictionary is, in my opinion, one of the wonders of the modern world. Simon Winchester’s “The Meaning of Everything” tells its story.

P.S. Yes Keith, I’ll let you know as soon as I do.

Thanks for the heads-up, Tony.

I remember the man who read the entire Encyclopaedia Britannica and then wrote a book about it. Now the OED - that would actually be worth reading. All the meanings of “set”… :smiley:


I’m one of those crazy people that actually owns the paper bound volumes—they take up an entire bookshelf! And yes it has etymologies, and probably the most vast collection of usage quotations for a broad range of words that has yet to be collected by humans, in any language. They try to select a spine of evolution for each word, tracing it as far back as possible, so often the first few quotations are barely recognisable as English without a degree, then trace it all the way up to modern day publications. The definition for set is indeed amusing in that if you typeset it for ordinary paper and binding, it would probably be a definition running the size of a medium length novel. There is one drawback to the Second Edition, and that is its publication date. They have put out a few supplements since then, but if all you own is the base set, anything invented, or any words that have radically shifted, in the past thirty years is not going to be addressed. It’s excellent as a literary dictionary, but I own another dictionary (Merriam-Webster 3rd Unabridged) for scientific words and so on.

If you can get access to the work-in-progress 3rd edition online, that is the ultimate dictionary.


I don’t know if they’ve added all the new words you’d hope for, but it sounds like this addition is fairly up-to-date. Here is what they say at the web site:

It is scheduled for release in the U.S. in May. Amazon has it listed for $200.


Happily, my institution ponies up to give me access to the OED on-line. It is a thing of wonder. The use of quotations is brilliant. It lends rare authority to the definitions and gives one a quick and keen sense of the history and meaning(s) of a word in an entirely natural way.

I have the unerring sense of really owning a word after examining it in the OED.

The only downside is that it frequently leaves me with a perverse desire to use words in obscure and obsolete ways. But I guess its better than talking like a pirate.


The good thing about acting like a pirate is you can over act and gurn away (pull faces) in shops and pubs as you get served quickly.
The bad thing about acting like a pirate is you’ don’t get very far in job interviews.

Aye lad, thems a -gurning in the hills. Aaargghh.

And pirate actors may be mistaken for vic-k…

Oh no, please don’t let it be me who takes this thread off-topic and onto pirates… It would be hugely embarrassing if I had to split this thread starting with my post. I’ll have to blame Greg, of course…

To go back on topic, I really am looking forward to this coming out. I’ve coveted my own copy of the OED for some time, but the idea of having a whole shelf dedicated to it as Amber does is a little much - we already need a delivery team just for books every time we move house as it is.

All the best,

But only you and Mr Shadow are authorized to use the yanginer (I offer this as a title for the icon). So you could blame Greg, but we will know.

On the other hand if you considered vic-k or an other member of the +3 you would have no difficulty overcoming the preponderance of evidence. In fact, you might just offer “it was the +3” as an explanation for all issues, even the random project disappearance, and few would question that answer.

Just a thought for you. :frowning:

I highly doubt it.

Here’s the Amazon page for the Oxford English Dictionary on CD ROM 4.0 … 612&sr=1-1

The price is “$199.12 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping.”

Advance orders can be placed now (no advance purchase discount, but it is already a good deal cheaper than list price). Pub date is May 21.

System Requirements
Windows: Intel Pentium 4 1.6GHz processor or equivalent (2GHz recommended); Microsoft Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows 2000.
Macintosh: Power PC G4 867MHz or faster processor; Intel Core Duo 2.13GHz or faster processor; Mac OS X v.10.4x or 10.5x.
All platforms: 512MB of RAM; 1Gb free hard disk space; minimum monitor capability: 1024 x 768 pixels and high color (16 bits per pixel, ie 65,536 colors); local CD-ROM/DVD drive (for installation); runs from hard drive only.

At last, the OED for the Mac!!

Hmm, depending on how iron-clad that resolution statement is, that might mean 12" laptop users are out of luck.

My 12" runs at 1024x768, “millions of colours”.

That’s the maximum it’s capable of, but it does meet the minimum specs listed. It’s a 1.5GHz G4, so I don’t know, are the slower 12" models also lower resolution?

I might be mistaken on that. It’s been years and years since I’ve seen the older 12" iBook. I remember it seemed quite petite. I suppose those really old ones are all G3s anyway, so that would moot even if they did upgrade the screen later.

Not seen it mentioned so far, but it’s possible to get access to the online OED through being a member of your local library - in Cheshire at least…

I simply have to log on to the library webpage and follow the link - password is my library card number.

There is a wide range of other reference works in the scheme, including Britannica, the Oxford reference works and Groves, for example.

I don’t know for certain, but I’m sure other libraries will do something similar.

For my purposes (very very rarely do any writing[1] away from an internet connection) this is a lot more convenient and infinitely cheaper than a cdrom. I do have the old 12 volume ‘join our bookclub and we’ll give you a very big dictionary’ version (£15 yonks ago), but almost never use it since I lost the magnifying glass…



[1] Sadly, this sentence could have finished at this point[2]
[2] But I am very impressed with Scrivener - it’s an excellent piece of kit. I’ve started to use it as part of my current fad[3] - learning Ancient Greek - and it’s turning out to be very useful for this purpose.
[3] Such fads being an important reason behind footnote[1].