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As soon as your work is officially finished, it is also officially outdated.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 The work had taken decades; Murray himself was dead; and the dictionary was understood to be out of date even as the volumes were bound and sewn.

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