- Used Books
- Staff Picks
- Gifts & Gift Cards
- Sell Books
- Stores & Events
- Let's Talk Books
Special Offers see all
More at Powell's
Recently Viewed clear list
Shorter Oxford English Dictionary 5TH Edition 2 Volumesby Oxford
Synopses & Reviews
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.
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
"'English has always expanded and continues to expand,' says Jesse Sheidlower, principal North American editor of the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary. 'Words mean what they do because of how they are currently used, not how they were used 500 years ago.' The Shorter OED is relative to the longer OED, of course. The abridged version is almost 4,000 pages long, comes in two volumes and costs $150. The unabridged version, which dates back to 1857, takes up 20 volumes. (The Shorter has about one-third the content of the larger.)" Atlantic Journal Constitution
"The selection of words and definitions is nothing short of impressive, ranging from obscure and trendy and including Americanisms....'User-friendly' is another newer word found here. Its definition, "designed with the needs of users in mind," describes this dictionary." Sunday Boston Herald
"Bollywood, gangsta, big hair and D'oh (a la Homer Simpson) are among the 3,000 new words in this latest edition of the renowned dictionary. The two-volume set offers over 33% of the complete Oxford English Dictionary, with over a half million definitions, the same emphasis on etymology and the evolving usage of a word through history." Publishers Weekly
Book News Annotation:
<:st> Previous editions are cited in and Guide to Reference Books. OED, the sets its sights high and wide, aiming to display every word in general use in the English-speaking world since 1700. Words make it to the Shorter by appearing five times in five printed sources over a five-year period. Shorter is 14.5 lbs. of phat lexicology and killer etymology, with one-third the content of the multivolume OED but in one-tenth the size. The shortening is accomplished by offering fewer usage examples than the although the fifth edition includes usage examples from 178 new authors, including William Gibson, Stephen Jay Gould, and Barbara Kingsolver (authors are listed in the back, but not indexed to their contributions). Pages are remarkably easy to scan due to excellent choices in font and spacing. If the OED is the ultimate research dictionary, then the Shorter is arguably the preeminent reading dictionary. Among the new entries: Homer Simpson's as well as and arm candy.) No illustrations or appendices. The previous ediition of the Shorter was in 1993.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
About the Author
Nick Ward is the author of Giant and Ride the Black Horse, both published by Oxford.
What Our Readers Are Saying
Other books you might like