Reference Shorter Oxford English Dictionary

ISBN 13: 9780198605751

Shorter Oxford English Dictionary

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9780198605751: Shorter Oxford English Dictionary

The Fifth Edition of the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary is a complete update of the most authoritative reference work for modern English. The text is based on the 20-volume Oxford English Dictionary and, in fact, the Shorter manages more than one third of the coverage of the OED in one tenth of the size. The Fifth Edition contains more than half a million definitions in its 3792 pages. Its innovative design makes this vast amount of information easy to consult, and especially makes the fascinating illustrative quotations identifiable in their surrounding text . This new edition incorporates a complete vocabulary update with over 3,500 new words and meanings, and many new illustrative quotations from modern authors. In total there are over 83,000 illustrative quotations from 7,000 authors. There is extensive coverage of scientific and technical English as well as English from around the world. The Dictionary is written on historical principles: entries show the historical development of words by listing meanings chronologically and giving datings for the first use of each sense. All major words used in English after 1700, as well as all the words in Shakespeare, Milton, Spenser's Faerie Queene, and the King James Bible, are included; many rare and obsolete words are also defined. For scholars and those with a serious interest in the English language, the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary is an unrivalled resource for the study of the development and use of Modern English. Publication history: The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary was envisaged from the beginning as an abridgement of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). The first editor, William Little, was appointed in 1902. He worked on it until his death in 1922, after which the dictionary was completed by H. W. Fowler, Jessie Coulson, and C. T. Onions. The First Edition was published in 1933, in two volumes. The Second Edition (1936) contained about 3,000 revisions and additions. The Third Edition (1944) contained an appendix of addenda and corrigenda, and this edition was reprinted several times with corrections and additions, the most significant being in 1973, with enlarged addenda (now running to over 70 pages) and a major revision of all the etymologies. The 'New Shorter' was prepared under the editorship of Lesley Brown 1980-1993. It was the first complete revision of the dictionary, being in fact not so much an overhaul of the existing text as a reabridgement of the OED and its Supplements. The New Shorter also included much material not yet published by OED. This Fifth Edition is an update of the New Shorter with thousands of new words. The title has changed to the original 'Shorter Oxford English Dictionary' to emphasize the link between this 2-volume dictionary and the original 20-volume OED.

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About the Author:

The Editor-In-Chief, Lesley Brown, brings over twenty year's experience of historical lexicography to the project. Her team numbered at its height sixteen lexicographers, plus numerous researchers and advisors. Bill Trumble is Projects Manager for English Dictionaries and Thesauruses at Oxford University Press.

From Booklist:

Considering it was 20 years between the third and fourth editions of this work, this "abridgement" of Oxford's flagship OED after fewer than 10 years is most welcome. Given some of the advance publicity and advertisements, Oxford is clearly aware that to win in the dictionary wars (at least in the eyes of the general public), it is necessary to emphasize newer words added to the dictionary. The general coverage of the volumes remains largely unchanged from the fourth edition, however, even retaining the previous edition's preface and adding a briefer preface for the current edition. Still, some welcome changes have been made.

Like the previous edition, this work "sets out the main meanings and semantic developments of words current at any time between 1700 and the present day." Words such as achtande, knottle, or pompal (all present in OED Online) that are obsolete, obsolete variations, or rare are therefore not included. Words obsolete by 1700 are still included, however, if used by authors such as Shakespeare or other "influential literary sources." Headwords are traced back to their earliest usage. The dust jacket from the work claims it has "more than one third of the coverage of the OED" and more than half a million definitions, with 83,500 illustrative quotations from 7,000 authors. Although the preface does not cite the number of new entries, publicity from Oxford states that 3,500 new words have been added to this edition. An actual headword count is not given, though the publisher's Web site puts the number at 97,600.

The most welcome change to this edition is that the text is much easier on the eyes than in the fourth edition. Most notably, the illustrative quotations are placed within a tinted text box, making them very easy to spot. In the main entries, each definition sense is now started on a new line in clear, bold numbers (the older edition had all the senses grouped together in one paragraph), and etymologies are spelled out, with Old English or Middle Low German replacing the fourth edition's OE or MLG, respectively. Addressing a criticism RBB had of the fourth edition, abbreviations are now within regular alphabetical order rather than placed at the beginning of the alphabet.

Unfortunately, one thing the Shorter OED has not changed is its tradition of abbreviating dates of first use--and, when needed, of last use--for a headword (L19 for late-nineteenth century, M20 for mid-twentieth century). Because even collegiate dictionaries now routinely spell out a date range for first use, it is time Oxford adopted a similar approach. It would also be useful to attach a date to the illustrative quotations used rather than just citing the author.

With both OED Online and the print Oxford English Dictionary too expensive for many libraries, this is a reasonably priced work that includes the requisite neologisms (Bollywood, full monty, and phat, among others) to make it a goof-proof purchase for all libraries, even those owning the parent work. The Shorter OED has some entries (Jedi, Klingon, and warp drive) that are not even included in OED Online. In short, this is one badass dictionary deserving a place in almost every library. RBB
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Editorial: Cary, North Carolina, U.S.A.: Oxford Univ Pr (2004)
ISBN 10: 0198605757 ISBN 13: 9780198605751
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Descripción Cary, North Carolina, U.S.A.: Oxford Univ Pr, 2004. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Estado de la sobrecubierta: New. 5th or later Edition. 2 VOL SET Language: eng Language: eng Language: eng Language: eng Language: eng Language: eng. Nº de ref. de la librería 715

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William R. Trumble (Editor), Lesley Brown (Editor), Angus Stevenson (Editor)
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Descripción Oxford Univ Pr (Txt), 2004. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. 5. Nº de ref. de la librería DADAX0198605757

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Descripción Oxford Univ Pr (Txt), 2004. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería M0198605757

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