This article proposes three ways of using the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) to encourage students' curiosity about language and develop research and analytical skills in the literature classroom. By considering the OED as an object, including the size and cost of its multivolume physical format, students learn about the vast amount of information it includes as well as the limits of that information. Through interactive exercises on etymology, students see the value—and the fun—of investigating questions about language and its development. Students can also explore the history of lexicography and of the OED itself, coming to understand dictionaries as human endeavors rather than decontextualized resources. The activities and assignments described can be adapted for a variety of courses on literature, linguistics, or the history of the language.

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