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The Oxford English Dictionary [Compact…
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The Oxford English Dictionary [Compact Edition] (1971)

by Oxford University Press

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Unique history of the English language and how it's changed and grown. Unfortunately, this is the edition I own. So much about the English language has changed in the last 3 1/2 decades! Wish I had the funds to subscribe annually online to the OED! But it's still fun to look at the old editions, such as this one, to see the history of the English language up until that time. ( )
1 vote Lisa2013 | Apr 16, 2013 |
I love this dictionary. Sometimes I flip it open and read it just for fun, peering down at the page with my funky replacement magnifying glass (having lost the sleek one which came standard, tucked into its very own drawer), reading about the histories of my favorite words or finding new ones that I'll probably never have any occasion to use. This dictionary also makes an excellent end table, if you're not the sort of person who is bothered by coffee rings to your books. Mine looks like crap - battered and stained, scuffed on all sides from repeated moves. It's a set made to be used - sturdy binding, clear type, table-sized slipcase, handy drawer for stuff - and that just makes me love it more. In fact (and I realize that by now I am starting to sound a little insane), we have two copies in our house. People think this is excessive, but what if something happened to one of them? Better to have a spare, just in case.
Yes. I love this dictionary. ( )
  paperloverevolution | Mar 30, 2013 |
This 1971 edition contains the complete text of the 1933 edition of the 13 volume reprint (including Supplement) of the original 10 volume work.

The idea for a new dictionary was conceived by the Philological Society of London in 1857, and by 1879 they worked out an agreement with a publisher, Oxford University Press. The proposal was estimated to fill four volumes and take 10 years to complete. In the end it took 70 years and filled 10 volumes. It defined more than 400,000 word forms and used 1,861,200 quotations to illustrate the definitions.

This compact 1971 edition was so successful it was reprinted, and the series was also "re-issued" in full form in 1978 and then succeeded by the 1989 Second Edition, published in 20 volumes with 615,000 definitions and 2,436,600 quotations.

The longest entry is for the word "set". The Bible is quoted more than any other work, and Shakespeare more than any other author. About 1600 quotations are drawn from Hamlet.

The 2d Edition may be the last printed iteration: The next edition is only 1/4 done and the Philological Society has announced its intention to provide only an online subscription for $126/year, and forego publishing hard copies which have suffered 'anemic sales'. The site gets 2 million hits per month.

The reference has been available for 126 years, though it was begun much earlier, with the compilations begun in 1857. The foundation of the work is the selection of 5 million Quotations excerpted from English literature, of which 1.8 million are actually printed.

The Dictionary presents 'in alphabetical series the words that have formed the English vocabulary from the time of the earliest records down to the present day with all relevant facts concerning their form, sense-history, pronunciation, and etymology.' {Preface} It does omit dialects and words not in use since 1500. [xxviii]

From OED Website: 'It is an unsurpassed guide to the meaning, history, and pronunciation of over half a million words, both present and past. It traces the usage of words through 2.5 million quotations from a wide range of international English language sources, from classic literature and specialist periodicals to film scripts and cookery books.' This is the largest dictionary in the world by far. ( )
  keylawk | Feb 14, 2013 |
Edition: // Descr: v, 2049-4116 p. 31.5 cm. // Series: Call No. { 400.42 Ox2 vol II. } Volume II: P-Z Contains Supplement and Bibliography. // //
  ColgateClassics | Oct 26, 2012 |
Frankly I had difficulty with reading with the magnifier provided. I plan to buy a stronger one. ( )
  carterchristian1 | Sep 18, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0198612583, Hardcover)

Proper words in their proper places--and a good many improper ones, too! If the OED's many obsolete definitions tend to be the most enjoyable--shuff is dialect for "shy," dolt was once upon a time a verb as well, meaning "to befool"--everyday idiosyncrasies still abound. But, for instance, occupies nine columns of text, and who would wish a single line away? There's also the sublime pleasure of trawling through the sea of relevant quotations. The OED's initial team of "voluntary readers" was asked to cite as many phrases as possible for both archaic and ordinary terms. None seems to have found this remotely arduous, and we now reap the ubiquitous ("present or appearing everywhere; omnipresent") rewards. This huge venture is a labor of lore, love, and good humor. One caveat: If you skip over the Historical Introduction, you'll miss learning about the Unregistered Words Committee, and overlook the wry warning, "If there is any truth in the old Greek maxim that a large book is a great evil, English dictionaries have been steadily growing worse ever since their inception...."

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:21:14 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Being a corrected re-issue with a introduction, supplement, and bibliography of A new English dictionary on historical principles, founded mainly on the materials collected by the Philological Society and edited by James A. H. Murray [and others].

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