OED: an ode

in my relentlessly consumerist lifestyle, there are some things that i desperately would like to own, but - in a rare demonstration of restraint and maturity - am holding off on the acquisition thereof until i live a less peripatetic lifestyle. for example, a piano. for another example, the twenty-volume set of the Complete Oxford English Dictionary, the second edition of which came out in 1989.

the complete OED is formidable. it has 22,000 pages comprising over 300,000 entries made up of 59 million words. it takes up four linear feet of shelf space. it is heavenly. it is my idea of heaven.

however - and this may astonish you - it doesn't sell so well. maybe people are put off by the $3000 price tag, or they would rather buy a 48-inch plasma screen tv than 48 inches (53 including supplements and addenda!) of linguistic and etymological orgasm. whatever the reason, suckitudinally*, the multivolume book that has been the alpha and omega of my librovorious lifestyle is about to be out of print. (i would say i'm going to start wearing all black due to being in mourning, but i wear all black anyway due to i am a sophisticated new yorker.)

amazon is selling the set right now for a very respectable $698.10, which just so happens to qualify for free super-saver shipping.

completely unrelatedly, it just so happens that my birthday is in 4 days.

that is all.

*a word that, tragically, is not included in the OED.


-j. said...

Are you setting up a donations-via-Paypal option?

Mr Phipps said...


I saw the four volume Oxford Companion to Popular Music and Jazz for $100 this weekend. It was glorious and I wanted to touch it.