Dictionary chair
Chair from the OED offices, given to me as a departing gift

I worked on the Oxford English Dictionary for thirty-seven years, for the last twenty of those as Chief Editor. It was fascinating work, and in putting the dictionary online we showed how old-fashioned scholarship could work hand in hand with modern technology. Take a look at www.oed.com.

As well as working on the OED, I edited the Concise Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs (1982) and co-edited the Oxford Dictionary of Modern Slang (1992). I’ve also written introductions to Robert Cawdrey‘s Table Alphabeticall (1604), B.E.’s Dictionary of the Canting Crew (1699), Francis Grose‘s Popular Superstitions (1787), James Redding Ware‘s Victorian Dictionary of Slang and Phrase (1909), and Ambrose Bierce’s Devil’s Dictionary (1906), all published by the Bodleian Library. I’ve acted as an adviser to a number of other national dictionaries, including the Opera del Vocabolario Italiano and the Australian National Dictionary.