The Compact Edition of The Oxford English Dictionary, Complete Text Reproduced Micrographically (in slipcase with reading glass) (v. 1-20)

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9780198612582: The Compact Edition of The Oxford English Dictionary, Complete Text Reproduced Micrographically (in slipcase with reading glass) (v. 1-20)
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When the twenty-volume Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition, appeared years ago, the public response was extraordinary. The AP and UPI announced publication over their newswires. Time and Newsweek ran full-page articles. The New Yorker published an extensive essay. Virtually every major paper in American and in Great Britain covered the event. And from every corner, the praise was lavish. Time called it "a scholarly Everest." Newsweek, "a celebration of language." And Herbert Mitgang, in The New York Times, called the new OED "the last word on words" and "the arbiter of the English language as it is read and spoken all over the world."

Now comes the Compact Edition of OED II, which captures all the wealth of scholarship found in the original edition in just one volume. The Compact is not an abridgement, but a direct photoreduction of the entire 20-volume set, with nine pages of the original on every nine-by-twelve page of the Compact (a magnifying glass comes with it). As in the Second Edition, the Compact combines in one alphabetical sequence the sixteen volumes of the first OED and the four Supplements--plus an extra five thousand new words to bring this monumental dictionary completely up to date. And it is monumental, with definitions of 500,000 words, 290,000 main entries, 137,000 pronunciations, 249,300 etymologies, 577,000 cross-references, and over 2,412,000 illustrative quotations. But as large as it is, perhaps its most important feature is its historical focus. The OED records not only words and meanings currently in use but also those that have long been considered obsolete. Moreover, under each definition of a word is a chronologically arranged group of quotations that illustrate the word's usage down through the years, beginning with its earliest known appearance. The result is a dictionary that offers unique insight into the way our language has, over the centuries, grown, changed, and been put to use.

More than 100 years in the making, The Oxford English Dictionary is now universally acknowledged as the world's greatest dictionary--the supreme arbiter on the usage and meaning of English words, a fascinating guide to the history and evolution of the language, and one of the greatest works of scholarship ever produced. The Washington Post has written that "no one who reads or writes seriously can be without the OED." Now with the Compact, the world's greatest dictionary is within the reach of anyone who wants one.

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Review:

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...."

About the Author:


J. A. Simpson and E. S. C. Weiner are Lexicographers in the Oxford Languages department.

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Book Description Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 1991. Hardback. Condition: New. 2nd Revised edition. Language: English. Brand new Book. The Compact Edition of the OED reproduces micrographically, in a single volume, the complete text of the highly acclaimed Second Edition of The Oxford English Dictionary. In this edition, nine pages of the original fit onto just one. This volume comes in a slipcase with a magnifying glass and a new user's guide which explains the conventions of the OED. Seller Inventory # AOP9780198612582

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Simpson, J. A. (Editor)/ Weiner, E. S. C. (Editor)
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