The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (2 Vol. Set; Thumb Indexed Edition)

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9780198612711: The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (2 Vol. Set; Thumb Indexed Edition)

For the past sixty-five years, the massive Oxford English Dictionary has offered the last word on the English language. Now, Oxford University Press is pleased to announce a landmark new dictionary--The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary--that brings the authority of the Oxford Dictionary Department and the vast scholarship of the OED itself within the reach of individuals.
This completely new dictionary covers virtually every word or phrase in use in English--worldwide--since 1700. Not strictly an abridgment of the OED, the New Shorter draws on the OED's ongoing revision as well as its own independent research program. Each entry provides all the information you would expect from a leading unabridged dictionary: it identifies each word's various meanings, origins, part of speech, pronunciation (in the International Phonetic Alphabet), and combinations in which the word is often found, as well as cross-references to related words. The New Shorter, however, offers something that no competitor can match: the historical, literary approach made justly famous by the OED. Thousands upon thousands of changing meanings are followed through history, illustrated by more than 83,000 quotations, from Ben Franklin to Lord Byron, from Jane Austen to Kazuo Ishiguro. The changing emphasis in the meaning of fiend, for instance, is shown by quotes ranging from Milton ("The Gates...belching outrageous flame...since the Fiend pass'd through") to J.D. Salinger ("Old Brossard was a bridge fiend, and he started looking around the dorm for a game").
The historical approach of The New Shorter offers a true feel for our rich, subtly textured language. Words are a palimpsest: along with their current meanings, many words contain the shadows of their past definitions. Understanding a word's history can help writers and speakers charge their language with nuance as well as precision. The New Shorter offers a delightful introduction to the fruits of etymology, providing a fascinating guide to the evolution of language--for both scholars and those who need a practical aid to contemporary usage.
In addition, The New Shorter offers truly international--and up-to-date--coverage. Every year, the Oxford Dictionary Department receives more than 200,000 notices of new words and meanings. These notices come from the United States, Great Britain, Australia, Canada, South Africa, India--everywhere English is spoken. As a result, this two-volume work boasts an unprecedented range of headwords and meanings, drawn from the arts and humanities as well as the sciences and technology. From molecular biology to computer software, from human anthropology to theoretical physics, the subjects covered in this dictionary make it a useful resource for scientific professionals--and for the unscientific struggling with technical terms.
The result is the world's most comprehensive, thorough, up-to-date dictionary of English. A fascinating and endlessly browsable reference, The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary provides the definitive resource for scholars, professionals, general readers--for anyone, in fact, who wants the wealth of language available only in an unabridged dictionary.
FEATURES:
· The immense scholarship of the Oxford English Dictionary-- Brought within reach of everyone:
* 2 Volumes
* 500,000 definitions
* 7.5 million words
* 4,000 pages
* 97,600 headwords
* 25,250 variant spellings
* 87,400 illustrative quotations
* 7,333 sources of quotations
(including 5,519 individual authors)
· Combines information from the OED with the work of a massive research project, offering thousands of fresh entries and new definitions
· Up-to-the-minute coverage of English--reaching back to 1700--with thousands of new words from a worldwide monitoring program
· Thorough, completely current scientific coverage
· Traces the etymology and evolution of thousands of worlds (candidate, for instance, stems from a Latin word meaning "clothed un white," as Roman candidates for public office dressed in white togas)
· A two convenient volumes, with full-size type

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About the Author:


The Editor-In-Chief, Lesley Brown, brings over twenty years' experience of historical lexicography to the project. Her team numbered at its height sixteen lexicographers, plus numerous researchers and advisors.

From Booklist:

The New in the title of this hefty dictionary signifies that it replaces rather than revises the The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, the third edition of which was last reprinted with revised addenda in 1973. While much of this work abridges material that appeared in the second edition of The Oxford English Dictionary, published in 1989, a significant number of the words and meanings are new, and, in many instances, dates and etymologies have been revised or corrected. Although the editors of the New SOED used the OED as their foundation, they also drew on the extensive resources available in the Oxford Dictionary Department's paper files and computer databases. In addition, they consulted the files and unpublished portions of the Middle English Dictionary and A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue, studied other relevant historical dictionaries, and sought the advice of a variety of language specialists.

Intended to represent "the main meanings and semantic developments of words current at any time between 1700 and the present day," the New SOED also covers words that became obsolete before 1700 but that have etymological significance or that appear in major literary sources, such as the works of Shakespeare. In contrast to the OED2, which includes 291,600 main entries and approximately 2.4 million quotations, the New SOED contains 98,000 headwords and 83,000 illustrative quotations. Since thousands of phrases, compounds, and derivatives are treated within entries, the total number of words and collocations defined is difficult to ascertain. However, the dust jacket indicates that the work contains 500,000 definitions.

In keeping with the philosophy of the OED2, the New SOED attempts to reflect not just the English of Great Britain, but the entire English-speaking world, including the U.S., Canada, Australia, South Africa, India, and the Caribbean. Entries range from obsolete words, such as abraid, characterism, leighton, and surbate to terms so new that they did not appear in the OED2, for example, bungee jumping, couch potato, cyberpunk, mudwrestling, and rollerblade. Many of the new terms deal with medical and scientific advances (e.g., angioplasty, buckyball, ibuprofen, keyhole surgery, taxol). Unfortunately, users may miss the explanations for such contemporary terms as CD-ROM, HIV, LAN, and MRI since abbreviations and acronyms appear at the beginning of each letter.

For a dictionary of the English language, this compilation includes a remarkable number of foreign terms and phrases. Although some of these are familiar (e.g., joie de vivre, Sturm und Drang, terra incognita), others are more esoteric, for example, ao dai (Vietnamese), disinvoltura (Italian), faamafu (Samoan), washi (Japanese). The New SOED also provides good coverage of major trade names, as evidenced by such entries as Barbie doll, Kodak, Rolls-Royce, and Teflon.

For each headword, the entry provides pronunciation, part of speech, date range, etymology, and a definition section in which senses are arranged in a roughly chronological sequence with the oldest sense first. Entries also frequently include illustrative quotations; phrases, compounds, and other collocations; and cross-references to other entries. Reflecting the work's British origins, words are entered under their British spellings, followed by the U.S. spellings, which are identified with an asterisk. Since pronunciation, which is indicated in the International Phonetic Alphabet, represents only British Received Pronunciation, this feature will be of little assistance to the majority of American users. The approximate date when the word was first recorded is indicated by a symbol that generally represents one-third of a century. For example, M20 stands for mid-twentieth century (1930-69).

Intended to clarify semantic distinctions and to provide examples of grammatical constructions, the illustrative quotations are provided selectively and therefore do not accompany each word or sense. Sources of quotations range from the Bible, Shakespeare, Milton, and Thomas Jefferson to Adweek, Martin Luther King, Toni Morrison, and Margaret Thatcher. The majority are from nineteenth- and twentieth-century sources. Quotations are not dated as they are in the OED2, and titles of sources are provided only for Shakespeare, newspapers, and periodicals. A list of authors, periodicals, and newspapers cited appears at the end of volume 2, along with lists of books of the Bible and Shakespeare's plays.

Because the volumes are split at a logical point (volume 1 contains A-M, and volume 2, N-Z), the two-volume format does not detract from this work's usefulness. Keys to abbreviations, symbols, and pronunciation are reproduced at the front of both volumes, and abbreviated pronunciation keys appear at the bottom of each page.

The wealth of words represented in this work makes it a true treasure for historians and literary scholars as well as for general users. Readers looking for an explanation of a term in an eighteenth-century novel or for the definition of an unfamiliar word in a work by a contemporary British historian will not be disappointed. This dictionary is highly recommended for public and academic libraries that were unable to purchase the OED2 in either its print or CD-ROM versions. Due to its currency, ease of use, and reasonable price, it is also a desirable purchase for libraries that own the OED2.

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ISBN 10: 0198612710 ISBN 13: 9780198612711
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Lesley Brown (Editor)
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