January 20, 2020
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My Book of the Century

My Book of the Century
MY book of the century is so long that it is currently spread over 20 massive volumes in its second edition. Mercifully, it doesn't have to be read cover to cover!

The title is The Oxford English Dictionary, probably the greatest reference book ever compiled. Although work on the Oxford English Dictionary began in the 19th century and publication proceeded gradually in slim sascicules from 1884 onwards, most of them were published only in the 20th century; and the first edition finally rolled out in 1928 when the Oxford English Dictionary was released in 10 volumes.

In 1933, it was converted into 12 volumes with the addition of a Supplement. The Supplement was revised and enlarged into four volumes by 1985. Apart from being an unsurpassed guide to the meaning and history of words in English, including those born from the Indian languages, the Oxford English Dictionary is hugely entertaining.

(Ravi Dayal is a publisher.)

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