Dictionaries & Lexicons

Michael worked on the COBUILD project in the early 1980s, before becoming Managing Editor of dictionaries at Longman, where he was responsible for running major projects. He edited two editions of the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English (2nd edition 1987, 3rd edition 1995) and the original edition of the Longman Language Activator (1993).

In the late 1990s he began working with Macmillan to develop a new range of learner’s dictionaries. The first of these, the Macmillan English Dictionary for Advanced Learners (or MEDAL), was published in 2002, with Michael as Editor-in-Chief. The first dictionary of its type to be created from scratch for almost ten years, MEDAL won both the Duke of Edinburgh/English Speaking Union English Language Book Award (2002) and a British Council Innovation Award (2004). Michael edited a second edition (2007) as well as developing and editing several related titles, including the Macmillan Phrasal Verbs Dictionary (2005) and the Macmillan Collocations Dictionary (2010). MEDAL went online in 2009 as macmillandictionary.com, and Michael continues as its Editor-in-Chief.

With his colleagues Sue Atkins and Adam Kilgarriff, Michael worked in partnership with Foras na Gaeilge to develop The New English-Irish Dictionary. This project, of which Michael was Editorial Director, led to the creation of the DANTE lexical database, which provides the most comprehensive description ever produced of the core vocabulary of English.