Specially designed to meet the needs of ESL students, this Dictionary is a necessity for anyone seeking to learn and use American English effectively. Its many distinctive features include: Clear and precise definitions adapted from the acclaimed American Heritages Dictionary; Extensive vocabulary, fully up-to-date for the 21st century; Abundant idioms and example sentences; Word Building Notes and Usage Notes with expanded information on vocabulary; More comprehensive grammar information than any comparable dictionary; A wealth of informative photographs and illustrations; and New Reference and Study Guide offering convenient help with basic English grammar, style, and much more.
The dust jacket on these titles anoints each book as "The best resource for American English as a second language." The description may indeed fit the American Heritage Thesaurus for Learners of English, but it would be a stretch to apply it to the Dictionary. The Thesaurus stands alone in the U.S. market and fills a real need. The Dictionary, however, is a revision of The American Heritage English As a Second Language Dictionary. The Thesaurus has over 6000 main entry words that were chosen for vocabulary building by professional writers who also teach ESL students; every synonym has a brief definition and a sample sentence in an everyday American context to clarify its meaning. Two appendixes contain lists of irregular English verbs and idiomatic uses of prepositions, and each term in these lists is also shown in a brief sentence to demonstrate its proper use. The layout of the pages is excellent: it resembles a web page, with large amounts of white space and horizontal lines for easy navigation and focus. Any student of English who endeavors to write and speak well, using the nuances of American English, will be ably assisted by this Thesaurus. It is enthusiastically recommended for all libraries. The Dictionary is more problematic. Its introduction is confusing and written in marketing-like phrases: "Your Dictionary is " and "Your Dictionary contains ." There are typographical errors in descriptive headings (e.g., "World Building Notes" for "Word Building Notes"). The International Phonetic Alphabet is not commonly used and will pose a problem to many non-native-English speakers. Words that have entered widespread usage, such as DVD and carjacking, are absent. This is troubling in a dictionary that states it contains the "very latest vocabulary list" and that has a late 2002 copyright date. On a positive note, this work does contain selective homonyms that have been highlighted for those trying to find the meaning of words they have heard spoken. Nevertheless, a more useful buy would be the Cambridge Dictionary of American English or Longman Dictionary of American English.-Kara L. Giles, Dominican Univ. Lib., River Forest, IL
The Editors of the American Heritage Dictionaries are a team of professional lexicographers with advanced degrees in various scholarly fields. The editors familiarize themselves with the vocabulary in specific subject areas, collect materials on new developments and usage, and work with expert consultants to ensure that the content of our publications is as accurate and as up-to-date as possible.