Most helpful positive review
233 of 240 people found the following review helpful
Clear layout, accurate definitions, easy to use
on 31 January 2006
Just to clear up any confusion you might have: this is a very different dictionary to the Oxford English Dictionary. This work (the New Oxford Dictionary of English - commonly abbreviated as the NODE) is intended as a reference for contemporary English usage; hence, for instance, it contains a definition for "minger" and defines "they" as both the third person plural and third person non-gender-specific singular pronoun. If you believe that dictionaries should be prescriptive rather than descriptive this will be anathema to you. If, however, you belong to the descriptive camp (or indeed want to understand what your grandchildren are saying) you'll love it.
The dictionary is layed out in 3 columns per page, the columns are about the right width for my taste but if you're used to large 2-column dictionaries you mat find them too small.
A nice touch is the vowel and consonant pronunciation symbol guides; they're repeated in the bottom margin throughout the book, which makes looking them up a lot more convenient than if they were hidden in an appendix. I also like the markers for each letter which are visible from the outside, they make finding the right place from scratch a lot more convenient.
The binding is very good: the dictionary stays open at the page you left it, and the central margins are wide enough that there is no difficulty reading to the edges of the inner columns. The paper is quite thin, as it has to be to fit 2088 pages into a reasonable-sized volume; that said, the pages are nicely opaque and it doesn't feel as though they will be easily torn in normal use.