The Paradox of Publication

As soon as your work is officially finished, it is also officially outdated.


From The Information, by James Gleick:

James Murray was speaking of the language as well as the book when he said, in 1900 , “The English Dictionary , like the English Constitution, is the creation of no one man, and of no one age; it is a growth that has slowly developed itself adown the ages.” The first edition of what became the Oxford English Dictionary was one of the largest books that had ever been made: A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles, 414,825 words in ten weighty volumes, presented to King George V and President Calvin Coolidge in 1928. The work had taken decades; Murray himself was dead; and the dictionary was understood to be out of date even as the volumes were bound and sewn.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: