The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary Hardcover – 9 Sep 1993
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"Every entry in this famed reference source has been rewritten, many new words have been added, and the majority of the illustrative quotations used have been taken from nineteenth- and twentieth-century sources. The result is an impressive collection of 98,000 headwords and 500,000 definitions in this replacement of the decades-old Shorter Oxford English Dictionary. Many earlier and later examples of a word's use have been identified and included. Entries provide pronunciation, parts of speech, date etymology, and definitions. The definitions are modern and easy to understand and are often accompanied by usage indicators. Word lovers everywhere will welcome this up-to-date new addition to the OED family."--American Libraries"A splendid achievement and a splendid value."--Hugh Kenner, writing in The Washington Times"In dictionary terms, the publication of the new Shorter OED is among the major events of the last half-century."--front page article, Chicago Tribune"This wonderfully successful dictionary provides historians and lawyers unparalleled understanding of the derivation and usage of words. No other dictionary of its size and unique organization even comes close. It is a must for students, teachers, and scholars, not to mention persons simply interested in the English language. A joy to read and to learn from, it is the only English language dictionary in the world that one would curl up with by the fire."--Kermit L. Hall, Dean and Professor of History and Law, The University of Tulsa"The SOED treats legal terms more comprehensively than any other general English-language dictionary. It might even be said that the lawyer without it assumes the risk, is grossly negligent, and acquires books in bad faith and with willful turpitude. In other words, I recommend it highly."--Bryan A. Garner, LawProse, Inc."Of the great dictionaries, this is the supremely serviceable one. Never intimidating (or ingratiating), the New Shorter OED is a sheer convenience and an entire resource. Lovers of that unique body of enduring agreements which constitutes the English language, present and past, will all be the beneficiaries of a newly truly wise book in which there is not a word wasted."--Christopher Ricks"The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, in its immense reach and profound wealth, has no rival for utility and potential enlightenment. Scholar-teachers of literature in particular would benefit enormously by daily resort to this exemplary work."--Harold Bloom, Yale University and New York University"Some dictionaries are positively floccinaucinihilipilificative when it comes to science. Not this one. Scientists cannot fail to be impressed by the accuracy, concision and surprising modernity of its scientific entries. At once a delight for browsers, students and all professional users of language."--John D. Barrow, Professor of Astronomy, University of Sussex"How grand to have, at last, these indispensable volumes! No writer, and no serious reader, can afford to live without the Shorter OED. For browsers, it's a goldmine--and you don't need a magnifying glass."--Annie Dillard"Everyone who cherishes the English language, its history, meaning, flavor, will rejoice in the New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary and will turn to it every day for information, for precision and for the endless delights of browsing."--Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., author of The Disuniting of America --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
About the Author
The Editor-In-Chief, Lesley Brown, brings over twenty years' experience of historical lexicography to the project. Her team numbered at its height sixteen lexicographers, plus numerous researchers and advisors. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The dictionary is derived from the Second Edition of the OED, and manages to condense that vast work into something that can sit comfortably on your bookshelves without crowding everything else out. In these two volumes, totalling nearly 3800 pages, you'll find about half a million definitions - so it's almost guaranteed that you'll come across something fascinating, obscure or bizarre on almost every page.
Although the Shorter OED is admirably suited to being used for serious work, it's also great fun - a quick consultation of it to look up a word can, if you have the time, often also turn into a couple of hours of browsing... and in my opinion, there can be no higher praise for a work of reference than that.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
For many years I swore by the earlier edition and this new one improves it with a newer selection of words and the thumb indexes for each letter making it a little quicker to find the word you need.
For a student of lexicography this dictionary is unmistakably an Oxford while moving towards a more modern world. While the pronunciation is the good old southern received from the original OED they have moved to the International Phonetic Alphabet from the one developed for the first OED. The layout and typeface for entries are still the same; easily read and well laid out. They keep the same marvelous information regarding derivation of a word but replace a definitive date for earliest use with a symbol that places it in the first second or final third of a century, probably more honest anyway. Like the earlier Shorter Oxford most entries also have usage examples for the word, many offer a usage for each sense of the headword.
While the word choice among the 100,000 or so headwords in these two volumes has some holes they are not large at all and mostly confined to more particular areas that border on jargon or industry specific terms. Like some other reviewers I can bemoan the absence of words in my particular topics of interest but there is no point, almost all people will never notice their absence.
For most of the English speaking world this is the dictionary that all high school and university students should own, the perfect answer for most of us who cannot afford or house the definitive Oxford English Dictionary. OK, it may be fairly costly but a dictionary this good is purchased once a lifetime and one this large will not be lost at school or be left at the bus stop. My family has had an earlier edition for thirty years.
Argument can perhaps be made that within the US, with its more Elizabethan spelling, a home grown dictionary such as Webster's should perhaps be recommended, since the Shorter Oxford lists US spellings and notes where they are the prevalent US spelling I would disagree.
I would recommend this dictionary to everyone who speaks the English language. Every home deserves a copy of this dictionary.
i have not been disappointed with it so far, and suspect that scholars, except perhaps of modern animal husbandry and american vernacular, will not be disapointed either. this is an ideal reference for graduate students, and others who have need of a serious text at a reasonable price.
and anyone who claims not to know that 'cilantro' is merely a recent american name for the native european herb 'coriander' (p.511) is not fit, in my humble opinion, to act as a referee for this excellent book!