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Shorter Oxford English Dictionary: Sixth Edition 6th Edition

85 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0199233243
ISBN-10: 0199233241
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Editorial Reviews Review

In hardcover it takes up two thick volumes, but on CD-ROM you get the same 7.5 million words of text (with half a million definitions and 83,000 quotations) on a thin compact disc. The computerized New SOED is a great pleasure. It readily accomplishes the simple task of looking up a word, providing definition, usage, and simple etymology. But the program also searches by anagram and by rhyme, by quotation and by etymology. Perusing the headword group is like flipping the pages. In this fashion, I ran across "nesh" (soft--in consistency, mind, or morals), "convell" (refute completely) and "xoanon" (primitive carved statue of a deity). My Scrabble game is getting less nesh all the time. --Stephanie Gold --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

The contents of this disc match that of its print counterpart of the same name (edited by Lesley Brown, 1997). Having said that, it's hard to believe this is a "shorter" dictionary: there are 7.5 million words on the disc, 500,000 definitions, and 83,000 quotations to illustrate meanings in context. You can approach these words in four ways: simple search (type in your word for a definition), index search (to look for headwords, derivatives, abbreviations, phrases and compound words, uses and references, and other word forms), full-text search (to search all text, etymological text, definitions, or quotations), and special search (to search for anagrams, rhymes, and phonetics). It may take a bit of hunting under those four groups to find a form-specific search that suits, but how remarkable that Oxford has made it possible within just two levels of looking. Nice features include two wildcards (* and ?) that work at the beginning, end, or middle of words, as well as a link feature that lets you use the dictionary within several word processors such as MS Word for Windows 6 and 7, WordPerfect 6.0 and 6.1, and Ami Pro 3.1. Bottom Line: What's extraordinary about this disc is how well it will serve all types of users, from those with the most casual reference question to the scholarly student of the English language. It is highly recommended for all types of libraries and personal collections.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: Shorter Oxford English Dictionary
  • Hardcover: 3472 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 6 edition (September 20, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199233241
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199233243
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 6.2 x 9.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #611,832 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

117 of 120 people found the following review helpful By Oldink38 on September 25, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I am an older person (69, wear specs) and have no problem with the print in the sixth edition of this great dictionary. Yes, the print is smaller than that of the fifth edition, but the volume itself is also smaller, less poundage, allowing an (older) arm to lift the darn thing without mechanical help--say, a forklift. No problem at all with the print. One technical note for Mac users regarding the CD-ROM. Tech support at Oxford tells me that a patch is on the way, but as of 25 Sept. 2007 the installed SOED is inoperative on both my iMAC G5 and MacBook. So until that patch arrives I'll just have to use the real thing, not a bad idea anyway. A great dictionary.

A year later now (October 2008) and I've just installed the update to the application version of this great dictionary. And I'm happy to report that it works well on both an iMac G5 and a new MacBook. Loads fast and word look-ups are instantaneous. Impressive improvements over the original application.
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51 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Locke on August 27, 1998
Format: CD-ROM Verified Purchase
The previous review complained that headwords had to be entered manually, and I thought so too for about half an hour of playing with the none-too-intuitive interface. But this turns out to be incorrect. If you double-click any word (to highlight it), then mouse on the open-book icon, the entry for that word will be called into the display window. I would have preferred a right-button mouse menu, but I'm glad to have the capability however it's implemented. btw, if there are possible other forms of the word you've selected this way, a menu pops up to let you choose. Nice.
The Windows menu does not include an option to tile the screen (just cascade), plus the app doesn't remember window positions. Annoying, but not a showstopper.
More irritating is not having better access to the quotation sources and authors. But there are plenty of quotes. Also, while I'm picking nits, there is no option to Select All (pretty standard with Win95 apps these days), so you have to mouse select the whole page if that's what you want. Also, no line breaks are preserved when you paste into a text editor, so plan on lots of reformatting if this is something you want to do often. Grabbing single blocks of text is easy however.
I'm glad to have this material readily to hand, so I can easily live with Oxford University Press's obvious lack of skill in the interface department. Also, the screen presentation looks pretty good, so there's that.
I also discovered a Very Cool Thing you can do, which is to copy the CD subdirectories to your hard disk -- if you have the room -- and access the app without needing the compact disc. This improves performance immensely, plus frees your CD drive for something else; Microsoft Bookshelf 98 in my case. Don't laugh -- it's a cool tool too.
If you're a dictionary junkie like me, you'll want to get this one. Not perfect, no, but well worth the price.
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50 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Richard Flanaman on December 21, 1999
Format: CD-ROM
A very impressive dictionary - hardly justifies 'shorter'. I have the full unabridged OED on CD at work and bought this version for my own use at home. I've found the shorter version just as good in practice. The search and hyperlinking facilities are good, better than on the full version in mt view and of course even those can't be compared to using the reference on paper, which will surely become a lost art before long. (At a full bookshelf's worth of paper the unabridged OED doesn't even have the usual 'you can read it in the bath' benefit of printed books when compared to CDs - it wouldn't even fit in my bath).
All in all I rate this as the best dictionary available in its price range - in any format.
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50 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Dwight Brown on October 19, 2007
Format: CD-ROM
This edition has almost everything of value which is in the BIG OED except the fuller treatment of word origins in the Mother of all Dictionaries.
It comes up quicker than the big edition, has all the flexibility of cross referencing. I keep an icon handy. In an uncertain world where value fades as prices rise, the OED stands firmly in the great tradition of British scholarship. If you love the English language, don't hesitate. It is worth twice the price. Dwight Brown
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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Gordon Richardson on March 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I was a tech writer and editor with an intense, lifelong interest in the language, its usage, mechanics and subtle nuances that shorter works are unable to provide. The full OED runs to ~16,000 pages in ~20 volumes which is overkill for all but professional philologists. (I have the Compact OED in which all 16,000 pages appear 4-up on 4,000 pages. Even using the magnifier supplied, I was going blind!) In Canada, the OED CD-ROM alone lists at CDN $500., more than I could justify. The SOED is only one step down and more than adequately meets my needs.
I purchased the Deluxe Edition with CD-ROM that uploads to the computer enabling subsequent usage without the disc in the drive. (It has a kewl audio pronunciation feature accessed using an icon after the word which avoids deciphering the 'hieroglyphs' in the print edition, avoiding the need to 'learn a second language'!)
It traces development, spelling and usage of words over, in many cases, several centuries, quoting from works of well-known English writers.
My purchase of the SOED is a dream come true. At the price Amazon offers it's a steal! I unreservedly recommend the SOED to all aficianados of the English language. ['PS' to my fellow Canadians: The set produced for sale in Canada has a glued binding which I consider inappropriate for a reference work subject to heavy use. My set from Amazon has a more durable stitched binding.]
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