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date: 18 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter outlines the criteria used in assessing potential inclusions in the Oxford English Dictionary, and summarizes the resources—whether print or electronic, commercially available or unique to Oxford Dictionaries—used in applying these criteria. Three case studies of candidate words are presented to illustrate the methods and thinking involved in arriving at decisions on inclusion for a variety of material. While the focus of the chapter is the policy in use at the OED, where the range of variables to be considered in making a decision on inclusion or exclusion is at its greatest, reference is also made to how decisions for a dictionary of current English may differ.

Keywords: Oxford English Dictionary, inclusion criteria, new words, electronic text databases, internet resources

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