Oxford English Reference Dictionary

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9780198606529: Oxford English Reference Dictionary

The Oxford English Reference Dictionary extends the aims of conventional dictionaries to be more useful, more practical, and more informative. It combines the coverage of an authoritative Oxford dictionary containing spellings, grammar information, pronunciations, and word origins, with in-depth encyclopedic entries. A 16-page full-colour map section, including the latest border and name changes, is accompanied by a large section of reference appendices including countries of the world, prime ministers and presidents, the body, the solar system and a chronology of world events. This is the revised second edition and replaces ISBN: 0-19-860046-1.

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About the Author:

Judy Pearsall is Publishing Manager for English Dictionaries and Thesauruses at OUP. Bill Trumble is Projects Manager for English Dictionaries and Thesauruses at Oxford University Press.

From Library Journal:

According to the preface, this is "a fully integrated reference book" that offers a "greater depth of information than is normal in a dictionary." This depth rests in the appendixes, which include a chronology of world events, countries of the world, a 16-page atlas, etc.--addenda that may be a plus for the home user but are not that useful for librarians, who will choose more obvious sources when hunting for this information. The dictionary itself, which is based on the Concise Oxford Dictionary (8th ed.), offers 3000 new words and senses but at times gives obtuse definitions. "Wolfsbane," for example, is defined as "an aconite," which is in turn defined as "a poisonous ranunculaceous plant of the genus Aconitum, esp. monkshood or wolfsbane." (Compare the definition from Merriam Webster, 10th ed., which refers the reader to Monkshood and provides the information that it is dangerous: "a highly variable yellow-flowered poisonous herb.") Another drawback is the pronunciation scheme (the International Phonetic Alphabet), which is found only at the beginning of the book, making it difficult to puzzle out pronunciations without flipping back. Finally, this is a British English dictionary, not a U.S. English dictionary. Recommended only for academic and public libraries looking for an updated British English dictionary.
-Cynthia A. Johnson, Barnard Coll. Lib., New York
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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