Random House Word Menu

Random House Word Menu

by Stephen Glazier
     
 

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"DESTINED TO TAKE ITS PLACE BESIDE THE THESAURUS AND THE DICTIONARY AS A CLASSIC."
—L. A. Weekly

The RANDOM HOUSE WEBSTER'S WORD MENU is a revolutionary reference that organizes language by subject matter, the way we understand and use it. More than a dictionary, the WORD MENU is also


  • A Reverse Dictionary, which arranges words in logical

Overview

"DESTINED TO TAKE ITS PLACE BESIDE THE THESAURUS AND THE DICTIONARY AS A CLASSIC."
—L. A. Weekly

The RANDOM HOUSE WEBSTER'S WORD MENU is a revolutionary reference that organizes language by subject matter, the way we understand and use it. More than a dictionary, the WORD MENU is also



  • A Reverse Dictionary, which arranges words in logical, categorized structures—if you know the meaning or you know a related word, you can find the word you need
  • A Treasury of Glossaries, with nearly 800 divisions and more than 75,000 entries
  • An Almanac, with entries concerning world holidays, sports terms, science, and more
  • A Thesaurus that helps you learn the terminology of an unfamiliar field, technical terms and jargon, and different ways of saying the same thing


"STEPHEN GLAZIER WAS A MODERN ROGET."
—William Safire, The New York Times

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Part thesaurus, part dictionary, part glossary, part vocabulary builder, part logophile's delight, this unique wordbook can be used productively for both quick reference and browsing. The book, which first appeared as a software product for PCs under the title Inside Information (Microlytics, 1990), classifies approximately 65,000 words into seven general categories (Nature, Science and Technology, Domestic Life, Arts and Leisure, etc.), which in turn are divided into numerous subcategories and sub-subcategories. Under Eating, for instance, a major subdivision of Domestic Life, the user finds several headings, including Foods, Cooking and Cuisine, and Eating Verbs; under the last heading, such terms as bolt , chew , chow down , devour , engorge , inhale , masticate , pig out , and quaff are briefly defined. A detailed table of contents provides access to the classification scheme and an A-Z index lists all words included in the book. Sometimes the Word Menu fails. Just two examples: superlatives such as best, first-class, outstanding, topnotch, and world class are not included, nor is amniocentesis found under Pregnancy and Birth. Notwithstanding its limitations, this book is enthusiastically recommended for all libraries, even the smallest. Glazier, a brilliant amateur lexicographer who died in early 1992 at age 44, has created the first bona fide classification of the English language since the 19th century, when Peter Mark Roget, another talented amateur, made a lasting name for himself.-- Ken Kister, author of ``Best Encyclopedias,'' Tampa, Fla.
Zom Zoms
In order to fully appreciate the true value of this unusual reference work, the user needs to know why Glazier compiled it. The late writer Glazier made lists of words to enrich his fiction, then created a classification system for his words that reflects modern usage and modern slang. The result is a system that enables the user to begin searching for appropriate words to express an idea by selecting from a menu of seven subject areas: "Nature", "Science and Technology", "Domestic Life", "Institutions", "Arts and Leisure", "Language", and "The Human Condition". Each of these parts contains three or four chapters; these are divided into 134 categories and 300 subcategories. The volume serves as a reverse dictionary when the user knows a meaning but cannot think of the appropriate word or phrase. In this respect it differs from a dictionary of synonyms or a thesaurus, in which the user knows a word and seeks a better word or more words to express an idea, although it can serve this function, too "Word Menu" is not illustrated, but it is jam-packed with information. The detailed table of contents is broken down by chapters, categories, and subcategories; the appropriate headings also appear at the top of each page. A detailed 120-page index serves as an alternative entry point into the book. Not given are pronunciations, etymologies, or usage notes as in a dictionary. However, this truly innovative approach to organizing vocabulary allows the work to function as a simple dictionary where a brief definition is all that is needed. For example, under "Science and Technology: Transportation: Railroads: Parts, Practices, Argot", the word "ferrophiliac" is defined as "amateur lover of railroading." One way this book differs from traditional thesauruses is in its provision of proper names. For instance, under "Trees" (in the section "Living Things: Plants") are listed several hundred specific trees from "acacia" to "yew". So it serves as a glossary in many areas, as well as a book of lists, an almanac, a grammar book, a book of days, and a handbook of slang. And unlike a visual dictionary, which has a scope limited to words that can be shown in pictures, the "Word Menu" has lists of words for intangibles such as "smells", "heaven", and "truth". A word or phrase may appear more than once, for example, "booby hatch" appears in "Mental Disturbances" and later in "Ships and Boats". There are no cross-references between the two, but both entries appear in the index The true value of this work will be to help the writer think of words to use in creative writing. Crossword-puzzle buffs and browsers will savor it, too. A big book, it contains a rich collection of verbal comestibles, reflecting the menu metaphor of the title, and will be a welcome addition in high school, public, and academic libraries The word "menu" also conjures up the idea of computers. It seems appropriate, therefore, that Microlytics has produced an electronic version of "Word Menu" on CD-ROM. According to literature from the company, the CD-ROM version is available for IBM PC and compatibles and as a desk accessory for Apple computers.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780679449638
Publisher:
Random House Information Group
Publication date:
10/08/1996
Edition description:
REV
Pages:
1040
Product dimensions:
7.64(w) x 9.57(h) x 1.72(d)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

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