If you cannot afford the £750 for the 20 Volume edition of The Oxford English Dictionary, or if you do not have the shelf space to put them upon, then this is the edition to get. The two great volumes contain nearly four thousand pages, more than half a million definitions, and eighty-five thousand quotations illustrating the meanings and context of many words. What more could you ask for? Whenever I come across a new word or one I am not sure of the definition, I turn to my copy of the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary and find a lot more information than I expected. It is the kind of book that you think you only put on a shelf and refer to it "once in a blue moon", but when you discover all sorts of interesting words and etymologies of common words you want to look further. It is my number one reference book.
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