Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on May 1, 2002
Americans, and college students in particular, are spoiled for choice in the matter of dictionaries. There are five good college dictionaries and you won't go wrong buying any of them, so the remarks here are addressed to why the Microsoft Encarta College Dictionary might be the one for you. It is the newest of all the college dictionaries. This is both a strength and a weakness. The more mature dictionaries have had the opportunity of going through multiple editions, correcting small errors and inconsistencies that have been caught by careful readers at each stage. This has not happened yet with Encarta, as other reviewers have noted. On the other hand, Encarta has many up-to-date technical and scientific terms that have not appeared in the other dictionaries yet, and it is the strongest contender by far for inclusion of computer-related terminology and acronyms, an area of vocabulary that sends many readers to the dictionary these days. Encarta is also particularly good at including compounds with specific denotation that are not transparent to the general reader: neurolinguistic programming, intermediate bulk container, sieve tube element, to name a few.
The essay in the front of the dictionary, "Usage in Crisis?" sets out the rationale for the inclusion many of the dictionary's special features. It's two pages long and worth reading to determine if you're in the class of people that is better served by this dictionary than its competitors. If you're a college student who has difficulty spelling or who struggles with the distinction between its and it's, or their, there, and they're, this is the book for you.
This dictionary has considerably more British bias than any of the other college dictionaries. Subtle British bias leaks through in both the headword list and in definition language. For example, the dictionary includes the fairly obscure, and not difficult to understand British vulgarism f...wit," yet does not have an entry for the far more common, and less transparent American slang term "dirtball." The definition at "tag wrestling" notes that competitors "take it in turns . . ." The American idiom is simply "take turns" and would have sufficed here. The flipside and upside of this bias is that you'll find better coverage in this dictionary of British English than the other college dictionaries provide.

For those who enjoy lingering over pages in the dictionary, this one is far easier on the eyes than most. The distinct typeface of the headwords easily sets them off from the definition text. The quick definitions in long entries are a useful way of navigating through them while looking for a particular sense. As a completely new dictionary, the Encarta is not encumbered by a tradition of style and presentation format that was developed long before the information age. Its fresh start in terms of presentation and inclusion support its claim to be the first dictionary of the Internet age.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
My beloved starting laughing when he saw me dive right in. What a clear & topical word bible. They even give samples of some of the howlers students have written!
The text - for these aging eyes, is a blessing! So many words, so little space to write about them!
Really Useful Stuff: Literary Links; Quick Facts; Synonym Essays; Punctuation; Language Notes; Commonly Misspelled Words; Entries with "Spellcheck" Notes; Tables and Charts. All you could ever want to know about computer-eze & the language of science & technology.
Exhilerating! Enticing! Dictionaries have at last caught up with us, & they did it in just 2 years - ah, computers! Ain't they grand? All that over a dictionary - well, what can I say? ;-) I'm mad about words!
One of the best investments you could make for the students in your life, no matter what level of education they're at!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on July 18, 2001
Say "Encarta" to high school and college students, or their teachers, and a CD-ROM springs to mind. Indeed, Microsoft Encarta CDs are updated every year, and are routinely bought by the thousands for school and home use. Now, Microsoft has brought out a new college dictionary in good old-fashioned book form under the Encarta name brand.
As with many things Microsoft does in terms of new product releases, they have come under fire from their detractors and the press. In terms of biographical entries, which can often be criticized for political bias, an AP article notes that most US Presidents are listed as statesmen, except Richard Nixon. It goes on to note that Zachary Taylor also is not mentioned as a statesman, and Franklin Pierce is mentioned as a statesman but not a President. Agnew is listed as a politician while Cheney and Gore are more succinctly defined as Vice Presidents. Dictator status is granted to one of Paraguay's rulers, but not to Franco (authoritarian leader), Saddam and Pinochet (national leaders), Idi Amin (head of state), and Stalin (statesman). Thus, the AP articles maintains, there are alleged inconsistencies, and editor Anne Soukhanov is quoted as saying the majority of entries came from the Microsoft Encarta World English Dictionary without cross-checking. Finally, the article noted that the previous World English Dictionary had a photo of Bill Gates, but not President Kennedy; this dictionary has reversed course by omitting Gates' photo and adding one for JFK.
Inconsistencies aside, this is an excellent addition to the field and should serve any high school or college student in good stead. The dictionary is broad reaching in its efforts to stand out in a crowded arena of contenders. New efforts at creating a better mousetrap include an extensive list of commonly misspelled words, a host of correct usage annotations, and a strong effort as addressing technical and Internet-related terms that are perhaps missing from similar lexicographical efforts.
All told, students of the early 21st Century will like the look and feel of this new dictionary, and probably will not care much about its shortcomings. English teachers and linguaphiles will probably want to wait for the next edition. Indubitably, this one is aimed at students, not teachers. And the students will like it.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on December 16, 2001
This gets my vote for the best college dictionary at the moment. I say that partly because the competition has gotten so lazy over the years:
1. American Heritage's dictionary crowds its pages so bad that you can barely read the text along the inner margins.
2. Webster's floods the market with dictionaries with slightly different titles but none is distinguishable.
3. Oxford & Longman equivalents: not enough words.
The Encarta is easy to read, cleanly designed, and has features which are very helpful to the ESL student (usage points and common mispellings). There are a few historical inconsistencies as the other reviewer has noted, but the weak competition makes this still the best choice.
Rosa
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 14, 2001
Once you are of an age to have to search for reading glasses and stall over computer terms - well it's just not like the old days of instant recall! So, in spite of the intellectuals who note some errors of omission or slight faults, I would say that this is the best word bargain out there today. It is extremely easy to read and so far the only word I haven't been able to find in it is "Encarta". Place it next to the old F&W and as long as you can still lift it, it will be your friend.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on August 14, 2014
If I had to recommend somebody a dictionary, I would obviously recommend this dictionary as it exceeds my expectations on how wonderful this dictionary is compare to Merriam-Webster's, Random house unabridged dictionary. I really wish Microsoft Encarta would consider publishing more dictionaries in the future as they are definitely better than most popularized ones.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on March 9, 2014
I love the encarta dictionary. The combination of longman and encarta is just perfect for me. What I really like about the encarta is that its definitions are good and it's derivations don't lead to other derivations like some other dictionaries do. I really like it and I am using it all the time.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on March 13, 2014
This dictionary has the best derivations I have seen in any dictionary. I have used many dictionaries and most of them give incomplete derivations. But this one goes right to the core of the word and it makes it so much easier to understand the word. I highly recommend it.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on July 27, 2013
Unfortunately it was packaged wrong so it arrived with the front cover ripped in. I was sold as new but it looked like used when I got it. If the dictionary wouldn't be so good I would have sent it back.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on April 29, 2013
incredible that its out of print now but I was happy to find it here at this incredible price. I really recommend this dictionary and the buyer supplied it just fine !!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.