Is This the End of Printed Dictionaries?

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Who would have thought free, instant technology would have killed a 130-pound, $1,165 set of reference books? Oh, right, everyone.

Oxford University Press, the publisher of the Oxford English Dictionary, told the Associated Press they’re considering not printing their next edition. It takes researchers years to come up with new editions, and by that point skeptics doubt anyone will bother buying a dead-tree dictionary. Why leaf through a massive tome when you can just Google? The only sure buyer bets, reps say, are schools and non-native English speakers. (“Real books” are one thing today’s children will never experience.)

Instead, the company is bringing inĀ  revenue from subscriptions, which coast $295 a year and are updated frequently with pop-culture terms like “bootylicious.” The OED gets 2 million hits every month from subscribers. Hasn’t anyone heard of dictionary.com? (AP via Fast Company)

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