People: A New Chief Editor for OED

Chief editor of the Oxford English Dictionary John Simpson will retire in October 2013, a position he has held since 1993--the seventh OED editor since Sir James Murray’s appointment in 1879. Under his leadership, over 60,000 new words and meanings were added to the dictionary. Time has a lengthy interview with Simpson on his tenure. Current editorial project director Michael Proffitt will take over as chief editor on November 1, and principal etymologist Philip Durkin will move up to join Edmund Weiner as deputy chief editor.

Chief executive of Oxford University Press Nigel Portwood said: "John Simpson has made a truly outstanding contribution to the OED, and also to the English language, over the 37 years that he has been at Oxford University Press. As well as devising and overseeing the enormously important revision of the third edition, he has pioneered the use of digital technology in both the production and use of the OED, transforming the dictionary into a resource fit for the 21st century."

Cengage svp, global production & manufacturing services Ken Brooks is leaving the company at the end of April to restart his operations and product development consulting firm, Treadwell Media Group.

The South station outpost of Barbara's Bestsellers has apparently closed after nearly 20 years in business, the Boston Business Journal discovered, though none of their inquiries were returned and the store's website made no mention of the closing.

Salon follows up with James Patterson on his NYTBR ad in which he wondered "where [is the federal government] on the important subject of books? Or, if the answer is state and local government, where are they? Is any state doing anything" to "save" books, bookstores and libraries. Asked what specifics he would like to see governments take, Patterson says: "I haven't thought about it but I’m sure there are things that can be done. There might be tax breaks, there might be limitations on the monopolies in the book business. We haven’t gotten into laws that should or shouldn’t be done in terms of the internet. I'm not sure what needs to happen, but right now, nothing's happening."

He also notes that part of the problem is that "I don't think we have a real strong spokesperson in the publishing community, someone who can stand up. If they were, they got distracted by lawsuits [against Amazon and publishing houses]. That scares publishers, as it should. It doesn't really matter. I'm stepping up a little. But it'd be nice if it was the head of a publishing company."