From the Macmillan Dictionary Blog:
Umberto Eco recently argued that “The book is like the spoon, the hammer, the wheel. Once invented, it cannot be improved”. But dictionaries are different from other books. Like maps and encyclopedias – but unlike novels or newspapers – dictionaries are things you consult (while you’re doing something else) rather than things you read. For any kind of reference enquiry, the book really can be improved upon, and at Macmillan, we’ve taken the decision to phase out printed dictionaries and focus on our rich and expanding collection of digital resources.
The digital medium is the best platform for a dictionary. One of its advantages is that we can now provide all kinds of supplementary resources – like this blog.
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But probably the biggest benefit of being online is that the dictionary is always up to date. Traditionally, a printed dictionary would be updated once every four or five years, but – in the intervening period – the language didn’t stop developing. Think of all the new vocabulary that came with the global financial crisis, for example (when we got to know about subprime mortgages, credit default swaps, and quantitative easing), or the linguistic consequences of the social networking revolution (words like unfollow, defriend, and twittersphere): Facebook and Twitter were just starting up when the last (printed) edition of the Macmillan Dictionary appeared in 2007, and had yet to make an impact on the language. Nowadays we can add new words on a regular basis – the latest batch includes outlier, soft power, smirting, andmumpreneur – and this has huge advantages for our users.
Link to the rest at Macmillan Dictionary Blog