User:RobbieMcClintock/Good habits

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Who: RobbieMcClintock/Good habits

Learn to love the OED!

Often, useful digital tools are NOT their printed predecessors.
In the heat of study, we tend to make use of whatever resources lie close at hand. This tendency creates a debilitating cultural lag as we shift our working environment from printed to digital resources. For instance, in order to enable printed reference materials to be "at hand," publishers developed numerous versions of desk dictionaries, collegiate versions, others for high school use, compact ones, pocket dictionaries. Habituated to using them we turn to their analogues in digital form. Unfortunately, few of us have been habituated in print to using, the great Oxford English Dictionary. In 20 volumes, each about 7 pounds and 1100 pages, it has never been "at hand," unless perhaps one counts the Compact OED, which reduces the type size to get 9 pages on 1 and "includes a magnifying glass for easier reading." But in digital form, the OED has basically the same "at hand" usability of other dictionaries while providing a much greater depth and range of information should one want to explore it.

Extend the commons

But the digital OED is behind a paywall!
Yes, but many academic and public libraries provide online access to it and other valuable resources. Many of the major public libraries offer online access to extensive collections to large communities of potential users—for instance, anyone who lives, works, or owns property in New York State, Massachusetts, or California to get privileges through the New York Public Library, the Boston Public Library, or the Los Angeles Public Library. A useful project would create a tool enabling people to find the entry point to which they are eligible that will give extensive access to subscription resources online.


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