Oxford English Dictionary

(Dictionaries, English, Reference, Research Databases) Permanent link

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) Online web site has been completely revamped. You'll find it quite different from the old site in many ways (new design, new functionality, etc.), but with a strong element of continuity in the form of the editorial content.

The site has been tilted more towards the English language than towards the dictionary as an end in itself. Search results move from simple lists to visualizations/timelines. They can also be filtered according to a number of categories, allowing you to start off with big numbers (e.g. all English words derived from Italian), and reduce them by steps down to small, significant subsets (e.g. all English words derived from Italian from the field of Music which are first recorded in English in the 18th century). That's 167 words, starting with adagio.

Other new features include pages (updated each quarter from the dictionary data) on the OED's most-cited authors and texts, plus links to other online resources—such as the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography—offering more on those who've shaped the language. There's also an ‘Aspects of English’ section, a series of descriptive articles on language, past and present, which will be updated regularly.

Perhaps the most important new feature involves the Historical Thesaurus to the OED, published in book form in 2009. The entire text is now integrated with the OED Online, so that you can follow semantic links throughout the dictionary. Go to the OED's entry for utopia, for example, and follow the Thesaurus links to the entries for heaven (Old English), Cockaigne (c1305), El Dorado (1596), nonesuch (a1618), Fiddler's Green (1825), never-never land (1900), the Big Rock Candy Mountain (1917), etc. ‘Utopia’ means different things to different people!

As ever, the core of the dictionary is its content. But with the new web site this content is opened up to an extent we couldn't imagine ten years ago when the OED first went online.

Online Encyclopedia to challenge Wikipedia

(Internet Sites, Reference) Permanent link

Here is the best of both worlds.  Encyclopedia.com  provides online content that is free & not password protected AND content that is from reputable sources.  It includes: "verified facts, information, and biographies from trusted sources.  Encyclopedia.com gives you credible answers from published reference works – all in one place: 49 encyclopedias from sources like Oxford University Press and Columbia University Press & 73 dictionaries and thesauruses with definitions, synonyms, pronunciation keys, word origins, and abbreviations."  -- from website.

The only downside to the source is the annoying ads.  But that's the flipside when you don't have to pay for it.

My favorite part of the site is the "Compare side-by-side" feature.  Check out this article on the Iran Hostage Crisis (click on the "Compare side-by-side" tab).  You can see three rather current reference articles all on one page.

 


San Diego Christian College | Website
2100 Greenfield Drive, El Cajon, CA 92019
Ph: 800-676-2242 (Admissions), Local: 619-201-8700
Fx: 619-201-8749

Southern California Seminary | Website
2075 E. Madison Avenue, El Cajon, CA 92019
Ph: 888-389-7244, Local: 619-201-8999
Fx: 619-201-8975
Copyright © 2011 San Diego Christian College & Southern California Seminary
All rights reserved.