A Dictionary Review

Eh, here you can read a listing of what are supposedly the best dictionaries. The author comes to the conclusion that the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary is the best. Yeah, right. Just because we live in America doesn’t mean that we have to limit ourselves to American dictionaries. The Webster has stupid definitions (and not enough of them), and plus none of the smaller versions give the etymologies since Americans supposedly aren’t interested in those. Give me the Concise Oxford any day. Whenever I try to use another dictionary, I always find myself heading to my Oxford afterwards, either because the definition given in the other isn’t sufficient or because it doesn’t have the etymologies. One can’t even object that the Concise isn’t useful for Americans because it doesn’t include American spelling–because it does. Interestingly enough, I haven’t found the modern Oxford Concise as useful as a small fifth edition (1964) that I bought at Half Price Books in Corpus Christi. It’s compact (in size–easily fits in my backpack), and it seems to have every definition I need, in addition to a host of Latin, French, and other foreign expressions. I rarely use it now, though–I prefer to use a CD-ROM version of the Concise which is both handy and quick, and I highly recommend it (you can load the entire thing onto your hard drive). Yet before someone says that I’m an Anglophilic Oxford man, I offer a warning concerning one of Oxford’s other products: some time ago, I downloaded the Pocket Oxford Dictionary for Palm OS, and I’ve been completely dissatisfied with it. My vocabulary, and presumably that of most students here, is far too advanced for what they offer in it, and plus it never seems to list any words I need. I’m hoping that one day they’ll produce a Concise for Palm that can be stored in a memory card.

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