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June 20, 2005

Your Language Needs You!

Did you eat a balti before 1984 or have a mullet before 1994? And do you know how they got their names? In conjunction with a major forthcoming BBC series, the Oxford English Dictionary invites you to hunt for words and help rewrite 'the greatest book in the English language'. The OED's web site has a list of 50 words whose origins are unknown, uncertain, or possibly date back further than has been verified so far. They include "cyberspace" (1982), "full monty" (1985) and "back to square one" (1960). As with any major dictionary, the OED is a constantly evolving project which is always seeking to provide the earliest verifiable usage of every single word in the English language, currently over 600,000 in the full OED. The new BBC TV series will draw partly on the OED appeal, and is expected to be broadcast in the UK in early 2006. For more details of the OED-BBC Wordhunt and how you can take part, see the OED's web site.
OED-BBC Wordhunt
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