Macmillan Dictionaries will no longer appear as physical books. The final copies are rolling off the presses at this very moment, and from next year, Macmillan Dictionary will be available only online.
Since its launch in 2009, Macmillan Dictionary Online has seen explosive growth and will now fully replace the print version in a transition that, according to Editor-in-Chief Michael Rundell, can only be a positive one.
With this migration to new media, Rundell believes that Macmillan‟s dictionaries have found their ideal medium: “The traditional book format is very limiting for any kind of reference work. Books are out of date as soon as they‟re printed, and the space constraints they impose often compromise our goals of clarity and completeness. There is so much more we can do for our users in digital media.”
Macmillan Dictionary Online provides an English dictionary and thesaurus, as well as a popular blog about topical issues such as the use of pleb or omnishambles, a weekly „Buzzword‟ column on newly-emerging words, and the crowd-sourced „Open Dictionary‟. Macmillan Dictionary Online also hosts the annual “Love English Awards” and nominations for the 2012 prizes will open in late November.
Rundell emphasises that the move from print to online is a cause for celebration: “While printed dictionaries only get updated every four or five years, Macmillan‟s online presence means we can add new words and phrases on a regular basis, reflecting the ever-changing role of English as the lingua franca of science, business, academia and social media.”
“Our research tells us that most people today get their reference information via their computer, tablet, or phone” adds Stephen Bullon, Macmillan Education‟s Publisher for Dictionaries, “and the message is clear and unambiguous: the future of the dictionary is digital”.
Watch Michael Rundell's recent seminar: "Who needs dictionaries?"