The Oxford English Dictionary (20 Volume Set) / Edition 2
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The Oxford English Dictionary (20 Volume Set) / Edition 2

3.8 9
by John Simpson
     
 

ISBN-10: 0198611862

ISBN-13: 9780198611868

Pub. Date: 03/28/1989

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA


Eighty years ago, the "greatest work in dictionary-making ever undertaken" was completed. And with its enormous range, unparalleled historical depth, detailed etymologies, and inexhaustible supply of illustrative quotations, it has enriched the lives of writers, readers, and word-lovers of all stripes ever since. Begun in 1857, published in ten volumes in 1928,

Overview


Eighty years ago, the "greatest work in dictionary-making ever undertaken" was completed. And with its enormous range, unparalleled historical depth, detailed etymologies, and inexhaustible supply of illustrative quotations, it has enriched the lives of writers, readers, and word-lovers of all stripes ever since. Begun in 1857, published in ten volumes in 1928, subsequently revised and expanded to 20 volumes in 1989, and now adopted to the electronic age, the OED has become the most venerated and most beloved English-language reference ever compiled.

The key feature of the OED, of course, is its unique historical focus. Accompanying each definition is a chronologically arranged group of quotations that illustrate the evolution of meaning from the word's first recorded usage and show the contexts in which it can be used. The quotations are drawn from a huge variety of sources--literary, scholarly, technical, popular-and represent authors as disparate as Geoffrey Chaucer and Erica Jong, William Shakespeare and Raymond Chandler, Charles Darwin and John Le Carre. In all, nearly 2.5 million quotations--illustrating over a half-million words--can be found in the OED. Other features distinguishing the entries in the dictionary are the most authoritative definitions, detailed information on pronunciation, variant spellings throughout each word's history, extensive treatment of etymology, and details of area of usage and of any regional characteristics (including geographical origins).

A dictionary like no other in the world, the OED has been described as "among the wonders of the world of scholarship." Reflecting upon the Dictionary's 80 years, that statement is today more apt than it ever has been.

Also available online at: www.oed.com

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780198611868
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
03/28/1989
Edition description:
20 Volume Set
Pages:
22000
Sales rank:
245,760
Product dimensions:
30.50(w) x 21.00(h) x 13.00(d)

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The Oxford English Dictionary (20 Volume Set) 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I own the OED but in digital form. It's great for work histories, which most dictionaries don't have. I love words so it's great for exploring. I'd suggest that you look in to the digital version that takes up maybe 6 feet less on you shelf. Letting you load it onto your computer makes it more accessable. If you love words, you might want to subscribe to the fact of the day, which is a dayly email that is sometimes interesting.
Only negative to the digital edition is the truely obnoxious security system ( you need to put the data disk into the computer every 90 days or so) and the fact that the program might not be compatible with some new OS.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Trust me--as long as spending the money won't bankrupt you, the $1000 it costs to purchase the OED is easily the greatest investment you'll ever make. This encyclopedic explication of the English language--its vocabulary and the various facets, usages and evolving histories of the words it contains--is a sheer joy. Never has an educational tool been so fun to use. No disrespect to Merriam-Webster: their unabridged dictionary is a first-rate and multi-faceted work of scholarship (and certainly far better than any of the other books that pass themselves off as dictionaries); but the OED is even greater. It deserves recognition as a great, timeless work of literature and scholarship. You must own it!!
LogophileJay More than 1 year ago
I have always dreamed of owning a complete OED. Given the nature of printing these days, it is likely that this edition will be the last ever physically printed. The next edition is at least 10 years away from completion and will likely only be available in digital form. While the set itself is indeed beautiful, I was disappointed at the B&N delivery. This is a set of 20 volumes. I received a box with 4 volumes in it and an email letting me know that my order was complete. Sorry, volume 5-8 does not an OED make. Someone at the warehouse did not do a very good job of checking the completeness of the order, and I had to spend a great deal of time and effort to get the problem resolved.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
By the far the most comprehensive, historically informed and detailed dictionary ever created, this 20 volume dictionary is a stunning achievement and also a real joy to browse through. It is the bible of dictionaries, absolutely definitive.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
&quot;... and now adopted to the electronic age ...&quot; Shouldn't that be &quot;adapted&quot;?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I find it illuminating that all of the previous reviews had blatantly obvious misspellings or syntactical errors indicating the need for a good dictionary. That aside, the OED sets the standard for other publishers. The major draw back is its size - 20 volumes take up a huge amount of desk space. Furthermore, the cross-references would be easier to navigate on a CD...