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The Oxford Companion to the English Language [Hardcover]

Tom McArthur
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 July 1992
This language reference book, written by over 90 specialist contributors, contains articles ranging from the "core" aspects of English - its grammar, history, pronunciation and usage - to such wider issues as linguistics, education, literature, technology and geography. There are entries for people, books and institutions which have shaped the language, or its study, and there is wide coverage of English throughout the world, and the influence of politics and culture. Fully cross-referenced with bibliographies for major entries, and an index of people included in the text, the volume also contains a chronology of the English language from Roman times to the 1990s.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 1213 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1st Ed. (U.S.) edition (1 July 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 019214183X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192141835
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 15.5 x 4.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 511,262 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


Praise for The Oxford Companion to the English Language:
"This is one of the big dreams for most writers, for an addition to their research shelf. It's the ultimate in authority for spelling, definition, and first use."--The San Diego Tribune
"A superb survey."--Library Journal
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

About the Editor: Tom McArthur is Editor of the journal English Today.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
A, a [Called ay, rhyming with say]. The 1st letter of the Roman alphabet as used for English. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars English and More... 21 Aug 2002
This is a superb book, which I have owned and used for the last 10 years. It's worth noting that it is about much more than the English language; there are entries on many other languages as well, including Sanskrit, Latin, etc. It is scholarly stuff, and yet entirely accessible and unstuffily written in plain English. There are lots of wonderful examples of dialect usage, and the Glasgow-born editor is particularly fond of the language and humour of his home town. Like all the best reference works, there are a few nuggets of dry humour tucked away, just waiting to be found. I cannot recommend it more warmly.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Having recently read this essential reference material near enough from cover to cover, I can say, hand on heart that it is a must have for all students taking AS and A2 English Language, and essential reference material for students, adults, and like myself teachers! Enjoy- and at a very cheap price through AMAZON.CO.UK! Get buying now!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
What a cracking book this is. If you need to know virtually anything about English (or even obscurely related to English) it'll be in here. 1137 pages of clear, concise articles exploring every facet of our gigantic language. Even in this abridged version, the depth offered is truly staggering. Though the typeface could be a little larger, for 2.75 used this is one of the best bargains Amazon has to offer.

I can only urge anyone studying English at any level above GCSE, right up to a MA and beyond, even those in English related professional careers, buy this. It's biblical in terms of scale and how much use you could get out of it. From simplistic terms, to obscure Pidgins and Creoles, to an overview of a country with English speakers, it's the best 2.75 I've spent.
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