OED online free for a few weeks

As anyone who reads this blog knows, I use the Oxford English Dictionary all the time in researching my posts. It's really a fantastic resource on the history of the language, and I couldn't do this blog without it, along with my favorite US reference work, The American Heritage Dictionary. My colleague at the Globe, Jan Freeman, who writes the paper's The Word column every other week, pointed out this week that the OED is offering free access until Feb. 5 to the full online version of dictionary, which was recently redesigned. To try it out, go to www.OED.com and log on, using trynewoed as both user name and password.

Her column nicely extols the virtues of the OED (as if you needed a reason), so I'll leave that to her. She also points out, as I have in the past, that some public library systems subscribe to the online version, giving its patrons access through their library cards. I had this in Louisville, and now through the Boston library. Check your library's website, probably under a heading like "electronic resources" or "online databases" or somesuch, if you want the freetacular to go on. Freetacular? Is that a real word? I'm not telling. If only you had free access to the OED!