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人教版高中英语必修1 Unit2 English around the World 听力 Reading Task

人教版高中英语必修1 Unit2 English around the World 听力 Reading Task 点击在线听力训练或下载本课听力mp3 THE OXFORD ENGLISH...

人教版高中英语必修1 Unit2 English around the World 听力 Reading Task

点击在线听力训练或下载本课听力mp3

THE OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY

You may think that English dictionaries have been used for many, many centuries. The spelling of English has always been a problem but it was more 

of a problem in the days before a dictionary. Then people could spell words in different ways which you might find interesting. But it made reading 

English much more difficult. So dictionaries were invented to encourage everybody to spell the same. In fact, an English dictionary like the kind you 

use today wasn’t made until the time of the late Qing Dynasty. Three men did most of the important early work on dictionaries: Samuel Johnson, Noah 

Webster, and James Murray. These men spent nearly all of their lives trying to collect words for their dictionaries. For them, it wasn’t only a job; it was 

a wonderful journey of discovery. The largest dictionary in the world is the Oxford English Dictionary, or OED for short. The idea for this dictionary 

came from an important meeting in Britain in 1857. Twenty-two years later, Oxford University asked James Murray to be the editor of its new 

dictionary.

Murray had never been to college. At the age of fourteen, he left his village school in Scotland and taught himself while working in a bank. Later he 

became a great teacher. After Oxford gave him the job, Murray had a place built in the garden behind his house to do his work. Part of it was one 

metre underground. In winter it felt like a barn, he had to wear a heavy coat and put his feet in a box to keep warm. Every morning, Murray got out of 

bed at five o’clock and worked several hours before breakfast. Often he would work by candle light into the evening. Murray hoped to finish the new 

dictionary in ten years. But after five years, he was still adding words for the letter A! Then others went to work with Murray, including his two 

daughters. He worked on the dictionary until he was very old. Forty-four years later, in 1928, other editors finished it. It included more than 15,000 

words in twelve books. And you thought your English dictionary was big!

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