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Concise Oxford English Dictionary: 11th edition revised 2008 Hardcover – 10 Jul 2008


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 1728 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; new ed of 11th revised ed edition (10 July 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199548412
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199548415
  • Product Dimensions: 24.1 x 6.4 x 16.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 372,947 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

A dictionary may not contain narratives and poems, but the best ones, like this one, give you the tools. (David Malcolm, Times Literary Supplement)

This is the dictionary par excellence for the general reader. (David Malcolm, Times Literary Supplement)

It answers a lot of questions; it is easy to use; it does not take up too much space on a crowded desk. (David Malcolm, TLS)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Peter Biddlecombe VINE VOICE on 12 Feb. 2009
Format: Hardcover
Anyone old enough to remember the days when executives had secretaries should be able to confirm that the well-thumbed dictionary most likely to be found in the sec's office was the Concise Oxford. It was also the dictionary that a wise parent might give to their child going off to college or university. It earned this position by combining the authority that came ultimately from the OED with the common sense and practicality that chose the right subset of words to represent the English used or likely to be encountered, in real life by real people. To those who know about popular dictionaries in the USA, I can just say "this is our Websters Collegiate".

You can of course get one-volume dictionaries with many more words - the full versions of Chambers and Collins, and the Oxford Dictionary of English. Very good dictionaries all, but a notch heavier and more expensive. But for clear coverage of the vast majority of words you're ever likely to meet, the Concise does the job. It does more than the job in some cases, with usage and history notes for various words. The usage notes are the more useful (and more frequent), telling you about things like the times when round is used instead of around, and vice versa, or the offensiveness of 'spastic' in modern use. As another reviewer points out, pronunciations are only given where they're not obvious to English speakers. Not a problem, I think, unless you're a non-native speaker of English - but there are dictionaries designed specifically for use by students of English, which I suspect deal with this issue.

Placed right in the middle of the dictionary is a 24-page "Centre Section" with information about the way lexicographers deal with English words, lists of ineteresting words of various kinds, and a guide to good English.
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103 of 106 people found the following review helpful By Kok Heng Phua on 30 Aug. 2006
Format: Hardcover
Summary: Comprehensive, up-to-date, but short on definitions and illustrative examples

Reviewer: A reader from Singapore

The revised eleventh edition is very comprehensive and up-to-date in its coverage of words from different varieties of English. I am particularly impressed by the large number of "informal" words and phrases that have not yet appeared in other dictionaries, even those available online.

However, I am disappointed that, to accommodate the new additions, the definitions tend to be short, so much so that the full nuance is lost. Illustrative examples of word use are also greatly reduced. Like othe recent Oxford dictionaries, it does not provide the pronunciation of many words that the editors consider familiar to native speakers of English in the UK.

I have changed my mind about giving away the eighth and ninth editions of the COD, which give more detailed information on the words that they include.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By D. Lucas on 15 Feb. 2009
Format: Hardcover
Concise Oxford English Dictionary

The COD has always been the best small English dictionary. Its rivals have drawbacks: Chambers has too many obscure Scottish words, and Collins lacks many useful words.

The latest edition of the COD updates the vocabulary well, without including too many temporarily topical words whose life is likely to be short.

My only criticism of the latest edition is the inclusion in the middle of a guidance section. This should have been at the beginning or the end. But this is a very small point - perhaps largely a matter of taste - about what is otherwise a very useful book.

David Lucas
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Paul Magnussen on 16 Sept. 2010
Format: Hardcover
Needing a supplement to my aging 1987 Webster, and in particular one reliably giving British usage, I originally bought the Cambridge International Dictionary of English. It's an excellent dictionary, in fact I would say *the* dictionary, for non-native speakers; the entries, explanations and descriptions of usage are wonderfully simple and clear.

But it simply didn't have in it enough of the words I looked up, so I sent it to a friend of mine in Spain who's learning English, and bought the Concise.

I must say at once that it was an immense improvement; in the three months I've had it, there's only been one word I've looked for that wasn't in it ("testudinal", which is found in William Manchester's biography of Winston Churchill: I think it means "relating to tortoises"). I don't know if you can count FUBAR, which isn't listed (although SNAFU is).

It's also strong on modern technical terms (such as "blog") and slang expressions (such as "go postal"). And whatever one's view of political correctness, one needs to be aware of it to be absolutely certain of avoiding offence. Here again I found the Concise exemplary.

However, I am not so ecstatic about some of the other features.

One is the treatment of pronunciation. I accept that it's better to use the IPA than some half-baked phonetic equivalent, and I'm gradually getting used to it. But "the principle followed is that pronunciations are only given where they are likely to cause problems for the native speaker of English".
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