As you are probably aware, our contemporary English content is now available through Lexico.com (https://www.lexico.com/en), and our old English dictionary site no longer exists.

As a result of this, this forum will be closed by 6th September.
We have already disabled new threads, but comments can still be posted on existing discussions to give a chance for outstanding questions to be answered.

The English dictionary community team would like the opportunity to say a huge thanks to all of you who have participated by posting questions and helping other community members.
We hope this forum has been useful, and that you have enjoyed being a part of it.

If you would like to get in touch with any OED-related queries, please write to
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And if you would like to contribute suggestions to the OED, please do so by visiting: https://public.oed.com/contribute-to-the-oed/

Thank you very much indeed, and good bye!
The community team

Comments

  • Hi there @norwegianblue. Our pronunciations team said: (Quote) I hope this helps!
    in ʌ Comment by joughtred August 2018
  • Hi @norwegianblue. Let me check this with our pronunciations team and get back to you. Best wishes, Joanne
    in ʌ Comment by joughtred August 2018
  • Hi @norwegianblue. Yes, as with all hyphenated or closed/open forms, this is a matter of style, and neither is ‘more correct’ than the other. We show the most common form (and the general trend is for compound nouns to be given without hyphens). How…
  • Hello @Mikelibrarian. Thank you for this! We actually date teleport as a noun back to 1878 already... (Image) It's the same quotation, though different newspaper (possibly the newspaper the Capricornian is quoting?), but well found! Best wishes,…
  • Hi @Hector_Hernandez. If you are trying to work out whether you should put an apostrophe+s where the name ends in s and it's an organization, the safest thing is to check the organization's website, as there is no set rule here. If not an organizat…
  • Hello @gconnor860 This is a tricky one. New Hart’s Rules states that: (Quote) I appreciate that not all of this relates to place names ending in 's'! I think what is being said here is that there isn’t a strict rule for apostrophes in place names,…
  • Hi there @denbi90. This is house style for us. It's more traditional to give lower-case abbreviations with points after each letter, though increasingly they are written with no points. Using pm is not wrong, it’s just a style choice. I hope this …
  • Hello again @Allsop. I've checked this with our editorial team, and too our knowledge, these conventions haven't changed in recent years at least. If this helps at all, New Hart's Rules states: (Quote) Perhaps you have encountered the double-sing…
  • Hi there @Allsop, I think I would write this as 'I like style (this is inelegant!). Think again.' If using a comma, I'd say it's definitely best not to put the comma before the brackets.
  • @Menthel Scoutinger? This is an obsolete word for a spy - I'm not sure if this works here!
  • Hello @givebytes. We can certainly pass your suggestion on to our editors. We do need to see evidence of use of a word before it is added to our dictionaries. You can find information about this here.
  • Hi there @ElderMindseeker. It looks as though you were looking at our en.oxforddictionaries.com site, rather than the OED. Information about the difference between the two (and the process of adding new words!) can be found here: https://www.oxfordd…
  • Hi there @Nail20. Hyphenation is a tricky one. Although standard spelling in English is fixed, the use of hyphenation is not. There is no concrete rule saying whether, for example, airstream, air stream, or air-stream is correct. All forms are found…
  • Hello @SCOTTYMUM. We asked our editorial team for their input on this one, too, and in our corpora, they have been able to find only one use of ‘work at a plan’ compared to 2,478 examples of ‘work on a plan’. This is actually quite striking, as we u…
  • Hello @galtomare917. If you visit our entry pages on our free site (https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/), you will be able to find several example sentences which show the usage of a particular word.
  • Hello @IanGreen . When you see a British spelling in brackets (for example, '(British randomise)' in 'randomize') it means that this is a British variant spelling, not that the word is spelled 'randomize' in America and only as 'randomise' in the UK…
  • Hello @asantoga278. It's fine to use either 'everybody' or 'everyone'. Both would be correct.
  • Hello @zmahmud741. We have asked our editors about this and they have commented: The OED has always taken a broad-minded approach to collecting citations, regarding any evidence that can be accurately dated as a potential source. A century ago, the…
  • Hi there @tcp927. I think 'football' here is meant to be 'footfall', meaning that a lot of customers would walk past that particular spot.
  • Hello @abhi_21. The Oxford Dictionaries blog might be a good starting point for you: https://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/?s=idioms
    in Idioms Comment by joughtred June 2018
  • Hi @mtrmtr. Your first sentence looks correct to me, with the comma falling outside the quotation marks. The only time I think you would place a comma inside quotation marks would be where the quotation marks indicate speech. I hope this makes sense…
  • Hi @drlee7779. I think the hyphen was perhaps supposed to be an em dash (https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/grammar/dash-and-em-dash).
  • Hello @irisemars1. This guide might help: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/punctuation/semicolon
  • Hi @aagarwal799. Something else that might help you would be to explore the categories section of the OED (we have a technology category). Although not everything in there will have its origins in technology (some words, such as unicorn, have develo…
  • That's a good point, @DavidCrosbie! Some words are also listed once but have a number of senses (the verb 'run' has over 270 main senses in its OED entry).
  • Hi @norwegianblue. Here's some information from New Hart’s Rules which might help: Compound modifiers that follow a noun do not need hyphens: * The story is well known * The records are not up to date But a compound expression preceding the noun …
  • Hello @phenry1026. While it's true that the number of words in different dictionaries vary, and each of ours are ever growing, if you want to just find the 10723rd word in A dictionary, one option is to search the OED from A-Z here. It might take a…
  • Hello @phenry1026. If you would like to, you would be welcome to post this question on our API forum too (this is a forum for app developers who use our language data). Someone on there might know of something, or be working on something of their ow…
  • Hi @Othmanazam. The use of the present conditional tense (in 'you'd' or 'you would') here makes this into a suggestion. There is a little here on the conditional tense, which might be helpful to you.
  • Hi @MaryNovik. I can certainly check this with our editorial team for you. Stand by!