Main content

D is for Dictionary

An exploration of spoken language and communication in the 21st century. Chris Ledgard visits the Oxford English Dictionary as its chief editor prepares to retire.

Since 1879, the Oxford English Dictionary has had only seven Chief Editors. As the current incumbent, John Simpson, prepares to retire later this year, Chris Ledgard pays him a visit. They look back at the challenges and the high points of his tenure; the controversies, the characters and the great weight of responsibility that the post carries. With archive of previous editors and staff, Chris and John consider what the future holds for this beloved institution.

Producer: Sarah Langan.

Available now

28 minutes

Broadcasts

Download this programme

Download this programme

Subscribe to this programme or download individual episodes.

Keywords for Our Time

Keywords for Our Time

Series of programmes examining key phrases in public debate.

Smiley face: Seven things you didn't know about emoji

Smiley face: Seven things you didn't know about emoji

Some facts about emoji - possibly the world's first truly global form of communication.

The funny words that kids invent

The funny words that kids invent

Have a look at some of the fantastic words that children invent and reimagine.

Podcast