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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A cryptic dictionary. I need definitions, not riddles!, 26 Oct 2010
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This review is from: The Chambers Dictionary Thumb Index, 11th edition (Hardcover)
Very disappointed with this edition. My parents own the Chambers 21st edition and it's far superior to this. I can get past the bible-thin paper and the narrow sans serif font but what a dictionary must be able to do, of all things, is to present clear and understandable definitions. This 11th edition does not. As a test, I took the definitions from two common words, wrote them down and asked my dad to guess what the word was. Two were taken from the edition I bought (11th edition) and the same two words taken from the older 21st Century Chambers edition. To give you an idea, I'll write it here too.

CHAMBERS 11th EDITION

To bring in, establish; to conduct into a place, to put in, add, insert or inject; formally to make known or acquaint with (with to); to preface, to present to an audience (eg a radio broadcast, a theatre entertainment). From inward.

CHAMBERS 21ST CENTURY EDITION

To make them known by name to each other, especially formally. To announce or present (eg. a radio or television programme) to an audience. To bring (especially something new) into a place, situation, etc for the first time. To bring into operation, practice or use. To put forward or propose (a possible law or bill) for attentions, consideration or approval.

The word was 'INTRODUCE'. No doubt, as this dictionary is cited as one of the best for cryptic crossword lovers, you may have got that. But, it's not as clear as the previous edition, in my opinion. Take one more common word.

CHAMBERS 11TH EDITION

To form by putting together or being together; to put in order or at rest; to settle or sooth; to design artistically; to set up for printing; to create (esp in litereature and music) to write (esp music; to set type) to cease, rest.

CHAMBERS 21st CENTURY EDITION

To create (music) to write (a poem, letter, article, etc.) to make up or constitute something. To arrange as a balanced, artistic whole. To calm (oneself); to bring (thoughts, etc) under control. To settle (differences between people in dispute). Printing; to arrange (type) set a page, etc in type ready for printing. To put together.

The word was 'COMPOSE'

My dad got both words but only after reading from the older edition.

My initial need for a dictionary came whilst reading a paragraph in Cormac McCarthy's novel 'The Road' where three words I was unfamiliar with cropped up in one paragraph. They were 'wimpled', 'torsional', and 'vermiculate'. Before deciding which dictionary to go with, I looked online at the main dictionary publisher's websites. Collins hadn't ever heard of those words before (!), Oxford had only one sentence to each and none of the definitions were appropriate to the context whatsoever, and Chambers was the only one that made sense. So, Chambers got the vote, but I wish I hadn't bought it and it's going back. The definitions for those three words are different in the 11th edition than they are on the Chambers website. Interestingly, the definitions on the site are the same as those from the 21st Century edition. If that's not telling, I don't know what is!

Oh, and one other thing. Amazon are selling this ABOVE R.R.P. (which is £25, according to the dust jacket on this thumb indexed version).
I will now look out for a copy of the older 21st Century Edition as it's clear and understandable.
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