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The Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors [Hardcover]

Robert Ritter
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Feb 2000
This book aims to provide a one-stop reference with comprehensive and helpful advice on a very broad range of issues encountered when writing or editing, either professionally or whilst studying. A completely expanded, revised, and updated version of the first edition, it presents the house style of Oxford University Press, drawing on the experience of the Dictionary Department and the Presss in-house academic desk editors. It gives clear advice on common spelling difficulties, names of people and places, foreign words and phrases, abbreviations, and broad aspects of usage, including capitalization and punctuation.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 2nd Revised edition edition (Feb 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0198662394
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198662396
  • Product Dimensions: 24 x 16.3 x 2.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 376,385 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Amazon Review

For those familiar with the first edition of 1981, this second edition will come as something of a shock. No longer is the book the size to slip into a pocket, or perch on that rare space on your desk. The pages are now three times bigger, but what has been lost in convenience has been balanced by greater coverage and easier use, so that someone wanting to check the spelling of blameable now gets an entry reading "blameable not blamable (US)", rather than an instruction to "see -able". The Oxford University Press way, given here, is not the only way of doing things. Other publishers have other preferences, particularly for such things as spellings in -ise or -ize, but what this book will give you is a guide to a set of rules on when to hyphenate or combine words (use "blacklist" for the noun, not "black list" as recommended in the first edition); on doubtful or variable spellings ("gettable" not "getable"); the punctuation of abbreviations; dates and spellings of proper names, and all those other little things that are so difficult to be consistent about when writing. It is also an invaluable guide to words that are often confused such as biannual "twice every year, every six months" and biennial "every two years". This edition also keeps its charm for the browser, and is full of surprising, editor-confusing terms such as Aelia Laelia "an insoluble riddle" and pickelhaube "a German spiked infantry helmet". --Julia Cresswell

About the Author

Robert Ritter as an Editor for more than ten years in OUP's Academic Division; currently he is Publications Manager for the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies. His wide-ranging editorial experience has been gained in a variety of publishing houses in both the UK and the USA. He is the editor of TheOxford Guide to Style (2002), which is the companion volume to The Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors (2nd edition 2000); he has also been a consultant editor for the Concise Oxford Dictionary and consultant for OWLS (the Oxford English Dictionary Word and Language Service).

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Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An unsual compilation 19 July 2001
By kyara
Format:Hardcover
The Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors is an interesting compilation of the correct British spelling of unusual or easily-confused words including abbreviations, place names as well as famous and not so famous names connected with history, literature and politics. I can certainly recommend it to journalists and editors who need to know things like Maldon is in Essex, that the battle of Malplaquet was in 1709, or that Benazir Bhutto (b. 1953, former prime minister of Pakistan from 1988-90 and 1993-96) is the daughter of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (1928-79), former president (1971-73) and prime minister (1973-77) of Pakistan. Some entries, such as "malcontent not malecontent," could easily be looked up in an ordinary dictionary, but you would need a whole reference library to find other entries. Overall a useful addition to the bookshelf of anyone who is a word addict.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A must for those that work with words 20 Dec 2000
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
To hyphenate or not to hyphenate? I've always had a problem with hyphenation and now it's becoming clear... it's all in here! Words change and evolve and this dictionary has all the latest versions even if it is a little light on web words. A must for anyone wanting to get it right.
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11 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, concise guide to correct usage 4 Nov 2002
Format:Hardcover
Wonderful!
Perhaps I'm especially dim, but I find myself using this book a lot. I'm not sure, but I don't think there is anything this book really gives you that a good general purpose dictionary (like the SOED) wouldn't, but it is a very quick way to answer questions on correct usage and spelling of difficult or contentious words. For example, it reminds us that Lake Windermere is a tautology, which I think is just great.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting compilation 18 Sep 2000
By kyara - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors is an interesting compilation of the correct British spelling of unusual or easily-confused words including abbreviations, place names as well as famous and not so famous names connected with history, literature and politics. I would highly recommend it to journalists and editors, who need to know that Maldon is in Essex, that the battle of Malplaquet was in 1709, or that Benazir Bhutto (b. 1953, former prime minister of Pakistan from 1988-90 and 1993-96) is the daughter of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (1928-79), former president (1971-73) and prime minister (1973-77) of Pakistan. A lot of the entries, such as "malcontent not malecontent," could easily be looked up in a dictionary, but you would certainly need a whole reference library to find the other entries. Overall a useful addition to the bookshelf of anyone interested in words.
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