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BETTER THAN ENCYCLOPEDIAS ?
on 11 December 2014
This dictionary is first class. It makes clear distinctions such as "boffin -- origin unknown --- chiefly Brit" --- "A large uncleared or sparsely settled area (as in Australia)" and "isolated rural country esp. of Australia". Because it is published in the USA it is not surprising to find occasional entries such as "BSA Boy Scouts of America" -- Birmingham in England having apparently escaped the editor's notice which in otther respects is unexceptionable.
Since I came across an earlier edition of this book many years ago, I have used the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary for my own research in preference to encyclopedias and to complement on-line searching.