Shorter Oxford English Dictionary / Edition 6

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More About This Textbook


The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary on CD-ROM features the full text of the Sixth Edition of the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, which is a complete update of this unique reference work. Based on the 20-volume Oxford English Dictionary, the "Shorter" contains an incredible one-third of the coverage of the Oxford English Dictionary , is just one-tenth of the size, and includes all words in current English from 1700 to the present day, with senses organized chronologically, plus the vocabulary of Shakespeare, the Bible and other major works in English from before 1700.

The CD-ROM is designed to run on both Windows and Apple Macintosh computers. With an elegant interface providing quick and intutitive searching, it also has advanced searching facilities for in-depth exploration, allowing searching of the definitions, eytmologies, subject, geographical region of use, register, and source language, as well as the ability to limit searches by the date of a word's first recorded usage. There is also an automatic look-up facility; by double-clicking on a word in a document or web page the user can view the entry for that word. Sound recordings enable you to listen to standard British pronunciations for over 100,000 words. In addition it features a crossword puzzle solver and anagram solver.

Supported operating systems: Windows: Intel® Pentium® III 1GHz or faster processor (or equivalent); 512MB of RAM; Microsoft® Windows® Vista, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, or Widows 2000. Macintosh: PowerPC® G3 500MHz or faster processor, 512MB of RAM or Intel Core Duo 1.83 GHz or faster processor, 512MB of RAM; Mac OS x 10.3.9 or later (Power PC) or MacOS x 10.4 x or 10.5 x (Intel). All platforms: 300MB free hard disk space; monitor with 1024x768 pixels and high colour (16 bits per pixel, i.e. 65,536 colours); CD-ROM drive; 16-bit sound card.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

As its title makes explicit, this is an abridgement of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), 2d ed., published in 1989. Within the covers of 20 large volumes, the editors of the OEDundertook the task of listing and defining " . . . the English vocabulary from the time of the earliest records down to the present day, with all the relevant facts concerning their form, sense-history, pronunciation, and etymology."

One major difference between the OEDand the Shorter Oxford English Dictioary(SOED) is that the latter has jettisoned most archaic and obsolete words, exceptions being holdovers from the Bible, Shakespeare, and other linguistic relics that are still a part of our living language. Another is that while the OEDprovides profuse examples of a particular word's employment by literary lions and silver-tongued orators, the SOEDparcels out quotations sparingly; these passages are highlighted with gray shading. (According to Oxford, 500 quotations have been added by authors writing in the last ten years.)

A comparison between the sixth and fifth editions of the SOEDfurther reveals the addition of about 2500 new entries; understandably, most relate to scientific and technological concepts. Spelling has been updated to reflect current trends, while usage notes have been expanded in response to our newfound sensitivity to expressions related to race, gender, sexual orientation, and so on. Especially useful are explanatory guides to using and navigating the dictionary (e.g., abbreviations, pronunciation) and the inclusion of a CD, which contains the entirety of the SOED.

There are problems worth noting, however.Most important: the definitions are less than definitive. "Sherry," for example, is described as "a fortified white wine orig. from S. Spain, drunk esp. as an appetizer." In Webster's Third New International Dictionary, the term is defined as "a fortified wine of Spanish origin ranging from pale to dark amber in color and from very dry to sweet in taste with typically a distinctive nutty flavor." This example represents a pattern found throughout, which is a kind of bare-bones approach to lexicography that leaves the reader with only a rudimentary understanding of a word's meaning. It also doesn't help that there are no illustrations, maps, color plates, charts, or tables; it is merely a black-and white desert of the alphabet.

Further, an emphasis is placed on British English, which as time goes on, is more and more distant from its American cousin. Therefore, no heading exists for "flashlight," as in "a small battery-operated portable electric light" (Webster's Third), since such a device is called an "electric torch" across the pond. While "gasoline" is included, it's described as being "used for heating and lighting," by which the editors probably mean "kerosene." The American sense of "gasoline," that is, fuel for an automobile, is not listed, since this is what the Brits refer to as "petrol" (short for petroleum), which we Yanks would call oil.
—Michael F. Bemis

School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up -With 2500 more entries than in the 2002 edition, this expansive resource incorporates new terms and slang from the fields of technology, computing, communications, and science. In addition, the illustrative quotes in the entries have been updated to incorporate recent material, and the language in the definitions has been changed to reflect modern sensibilities about ethnicity, sexuality, and disabilities. A new essay, a€œA Brief History of English,a€ leads the volume, and it is a stalwart reminder of the Dictionary a€™s purpose: to provide historical context to our language. As in previous editions, each entry includes pronunciation, part of speech, variant spellings, a quote, and information about the field and origin of the word. This set is so comprehensive for its size that ita€™s a natural and economical alternative to the 20-volume Oxford English Dictionary (2002) for smaller libraries.-Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Carroll County Public Library, MD

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199231768
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 8/17/2007
  • Edition description: CD-ROM
  • Edition number: 6
  • Pages: 24
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 5.30 (h) x 0.60 (d)

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