May 18, 2022

Video: CNN Interview With Michael Proffitt, New Chief Editor of the Oxford English Dictionary

Michael Proffitt is interviewed by CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.

From a CNN Article:

The average English-speaker knows between 25,000 and 40,000 words, Oxford English Dictionary Chief Editor Michael Proffitt told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Thursday.

His organization – which bills itself as the “definitive record of the English language” – has recorded 800,000 words and counting, he said.

“Even people who are doing 40,000, at the highest end, it’s about five percent of what we’ve got in the OED,” he said. “And that’s not all the words in the language.”

Proffitt has just taken over the helm of the OED, the first succession in 20 years, and he faces a unique challenge.

See Also: Michael Proffitt Interview (via The New York Times)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.