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Dictionaries Going The Way Of The Dinosaurs: Oxford Says No More Print Editions

Thanks in part to the ubiquitousness of computers, kids no longer know how to write in cursive — and soon they will also probably stop using actual books. The Oxford English Dictionary announced this week that it will no longer be publishing a print edition and will only be available online. Says the dictionary’s chief officer Nigel Portwood, “Our primary purpose — and this takes a bit of adjusting to — is not profit, it is the dissemination of knowledge.” But profit is definitely a part of the equation: Subscribers pay a fee of around $300 per year to use the online dictionary.

Oxford’s publishers argue that the print market is rapidly declining, and users are now acclimated to searching for and using information online. But we think there’s something a bit sad about a dictionary existing in virtual form only.

What do you think? Do you use online reference tools to the exclusion of actual books? Would you pay to subscribe to a dictionary or other reference material? [Daily Mail]

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