Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


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

116 of 119 people found the following review helpful
on September 25, 2007
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.
77 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
51 of 51 people found the following review helpful
on August 27, 1998
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.
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
50 of 50 people found the following review helpful
on December 21, 1999
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.
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
50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
on October 19, 2007
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
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
35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
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.]
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
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
This review is a little different than most of those I've written because I haven't actually read the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary all the way through, and yet this is not a negative tirade on how ridiculously awful the first few pages were (see Code of the Mountain Man, X-Rated Bloodsuckers, and When One Man Dies for examples of those). In fact, I couldn't be happier with it. I hope I never finish it -- that there will always be something new to discover about our fabulous (though often painfully flawed) English language.

Though I wouldn't turn down a full Oxford English Dictionary if someone gave it to me and I had the free shelf space for all twenty volumes (both of which are equally unlikely), I actually believe the two-volume shorter version is more useful. The editors have pared the contents of the behemoth down to just those words in regular use any time after 1700 a.d.

Added to this are the entire contents of the works of pre-1700 authors William Shakespeare, John Milton, and Edmund Spenser, as well as the full text of the King James Version of the Bible. This is basically every word the average person is likely to come across, provided you don't often indulge in pre-18th century reading material (with Geoffrey Chaucer and Beowulf being notable omissions).

And of course the Oxford editors are perhaps best known for their historical perspective, an aspect that is also contained in the shorter version of their dictionary. Most words have chronological listings and a complete etymology with origins where they're known and literary examples, something often missing in American dictionaries but utterly vital to language enthusiasts (like those of us who take the time to write rave reviews of dictionaries).

If you're in the market for a dictionary and just aren't satisfied with yet another variation on the Webster's/American Heritage clan (and you're willing to spend the extra money), the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary is an investment in your future. (Mine was a gift from my wife -- that's definitely one way to know you've married the right woman.)
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
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on February 25, 2008
I was looking for a dictionary of the English language for a very long time, not knowing what to buy, because of the diversity of publishers and editions. I'm not a specialist in the field, but I can say that this deluxe edition is very usefull for both students and professors, and it can make a very beautiful gift. the sixth edition takes in new terms from such productive areas as computing, communications, science, and slang while also casting new light on the history of English. They added quotations from authors and periodicals of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. There is an essay at the beginning of the dictionary "A brief history of English" by David Crystal which gives an overview of the development of the language from Old English to the 21st century. the dictionary is wery well bounded, the covers are made from a beautiful dark blue leather with golden inscriptions. the borders of the pages are also of gold colour. very nice and very well structured. very satisfied with it.
review image review image review image review image
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
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on January 12, 2010
The impressive box cover is a foldable protective device and not a Slip Cover. The artwork on the slippery Dust Jacket is not reproduced on the blue covers, unlike the DK Oxford Illustrated Dictionaries. With strong glue and sensible folding, a home-made slip cover can be fashioned from the box cover.

Shamelessly, I can "request" my staff put on a plastic wrap right away (outside their job description!), while I am going to the computer to order another set for my home. Better investment than futures derivatives and other dictionaries, I think.

These two volumes need to have mylar plastic jackets with custom-made retaining end-pockets, so the publishers may want to consider this as an optional extra. I consider custom-made plastic jackets Mandatory, and those who do not want the Mylar jacket can just slip it away.

Thus plastic protected, this Dictionary makes excellent reading from cover to cover, like a novel. The layout is superb. The words stand out. Etymology is usefully condensed and unobstrusive. All words are of the Good to Know category, and this is the FEEL GOOD dictionary of all time. I read it recreationally.

I wondered if the CD proclaimed loudly on the protective box dropped out during shipping, but it was found securely stuck on an inside page at the end of Volume 2. Shrink wrapping on the 2 volumes means the CD is tamper-proof.

This dictionary is more likely to go up in price rather than down. It was once Eligible for Super-Saver Shipping (mine), but this is no longer the case. Lock in your order now, before you get charged for the CD, which I thought was a pleasant unadvertised bonus. There is a hefty premium for the CD with the Concise Oxford.

Much has been said of the scarily thin paper printed in Italy. I tugged on random pages and opined it can withstand a lifetime of reasonable use without tearing. It is not the heavy duty paper of the 1993 editionS, (there were several versions), which were ironically Printed in the United States of America, and had the American pronouncing key in many 1993 versions. This edition has the International Phonetic Transcription.

I pinched a singular thin page with both hands and managed to lift the spine half an inch off the table with that singular page before my nerves gave way, rather than the page.

The paper was of high quality; bright and pleasing to touch. Very little of the print on the reverse page can be "seen through", and the translucent effect was not noticeable unless you looked for it. Paradoxically, a different dictionary from another reputable publisher with much thicker Finnish paper had the print of the reverse page showing through.

Words are divided into:

A. MUST KNOW: the 3000 core words of any language which enables you to read the newspaper in that language,
B. SHOULD KNOW: the 10000 words which allows you to argue, persuade, communicate, get a raise, and make you sound smart,
C. GOOD TO KNOW: that is our SHORTER OXFORD forte. No archaic words. There is not a single word which might not come in handy one day. This is a fascinating journey of discovery into words I should have looked up, but was too lazy to do so at the time - reading in the toilet, space shuttle, being legit excuses, and
D. THERE TO KNOW: which is the 20 Volume "Mother" OXFORD, which is also fascinating reading, but I have rarely bothered to resort to it for two decades, except in extremis, and it remains a vanity possession.

The Head-letter of each and every entry is not auto-capitalised, unlike some idiotic 1993 versions. You can figure out how "Bangalore torpedo" is capitalised, but it is useful to know "clarence" the coach is not capitalised.

If only I had known this dictionary was so reader friendly, I would have raved less about some other dictionaries, which are now reduced to compendiums by this Shorter Oxford. Let me explain:

a. all Latin phrases are there, so there is no pressing need for a separate dictionary of latin phrases; and they are in useful phrase form, not in single word form which drives you crazy,
b. all French phrases in common and uncommon use are there,
c. all the commonly used Chinese, Japanese, asian romanised terms are there,
d. all the medical terms of a small medical dictionary are there - "trust me, I am a doctor" :) - so there is no need for you to buy a "just in case" medical dictionary. I believe this applies to the "contingency" dictionaries in other professional disciplines and liberal arts. I am afraid to point out examples from the fabulous array of medical terms and products, for fear that my colleagues might construe it as a sign of my prior ignorance of these terms,
e. a dictionary of Acronyms would now be totally subsumed,
...I think you get the idea of just how usefully comprehensive this work is.

I am going to postpone my purchase of a Hebrew-English dictionary after finding "Talmid Chacham" (smart-ass) properly explained. For legal definitions, I would rather have professionally researched words, but I can foresee this Shorter Oxford coming in useful as evidence of Every Day usage of the English words, replacing the Concise Oxford, like in libel suits. Just about every small "specialised" dictionary, even technical ones, has been subsumed within the latest Shorter Oxford. In this respect, it is great value for money.

Fear of clowns, "coulrophobia", on page 535, cannot be found in the 20 Volume Oxford and its Addition Series, nor in large Medical Dictionaries, nor in The American Psychiatric Association's DSM-IV TR Manual - shame!

At the time of this review, it has been marked down from the list price of $175 to $110. In 1993, the dictionary was 39.95 pounds sterling. Some later revisions were 79.95 pounds sterling; special versions priced, well, specially. Given the exchange rate then of English money, the current Shorter Oxford is cheaper today in absolute terms. And if you factor in the purchasing power of money in 1993, you are getting this at just a fraction of the inflation-adjusted 1990s price, and a free CD too.

To the Editors' credit, the Shorter Oxford steers well clear from being a thesaurus. Precise definitions are given, not a list of similar words leaving you wondering how to match the meaning with the appropriate simile.

The height of the Shorter Oxford is just slightly less than the 20 Volume Mother Oxford. I suspect these two colourfully jacketed volumes are to join the 2009 (now printed in China) Mother Oxford , forming the preface of a 22 volume set. Sneaky.

Other than my gripe with the unfortified Dust Jacket, this super-duper Edition merits association with the word "lexicographomania", which is not in the Shorter Oxford, but neither is it in the 20 volume Mother Oxford. And yes, the Shorter Oxford deliberately leaves out many portmanteau words where you can go figure out the meaning for yourself.
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
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on September 12, 2008
Note: I've noticed that this review is appearing on the pages of other Shorter Oxford products, such as the CD ROM version. This review exclusively refers to the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary: Deluxe Sixth Edition. This is the leatherbound, two-volume set.

---
So much has been written about the scholarship of the Shorter OED that I elect not to debate it here. Nonetheless, you might be interested in the physicality of what you're buying.

In a word, both the quality and the aesthetic presentation of this Deluxe Edition are extraordinary. The binding construction is first-rate, and as close to old-world craftsmanship as one might reasonably expect. (If you're familiar with Easton Press leatherbound editions; these volumes are on par. However, the OED editions lack the hubbed spines and moire fabric endsheets that are customary with Easton Press.)

The paper seems to be inimitably thin - almost akin to a rice paper of some sort. You may be familiar with the razor-thin paper used in the Norton Anthology of English Literature; this is empirically similar. The pages are a bright white, and the typeface contrast is bold and clear. Unlike the Compact OED, most people can read this without a magnifying glass.

For what it's worth, these volumes are printed in Italy. They are heirloom editions that may very well last a lifetime or longer. However, they are almost too nice to use as rigorously as you might be initially inclined to do. (I find myself treating my set with kid gloves. There's a strange irony here.)

The Oxford blue leather bindings are tastefully stunning. Although delicate, the gold-gilded edging keeps moisture and dust away from the pages. The satin ribbon page markers are a nice touch. The slipcase is cardboard, and although sufficient for its purpose, it is less than luxurious. But overall, as a gift for a loved one or for yourself; this ensemble will not disappoint. Assuredly, you will not find a nicer dictionary from any publisher at any price. (It also helps that this happens to be the OED, albeit the Shorter.)

Finally; this purchase includes a 12-month subscription to the OED Online. (Oxford sells personal subscriptions for $295.00/year.) Some libraries furnish online access for free, but for those of us who aren't so fortunate, this is a sweet perquisite.
review image review image
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
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on January 27, 2008
In summer 2007 my wife and I were on a cruise from England to Russia. I picked up "The Meaning of Everything" by Simon Winchester in the ship's library. The book is the story of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). When I completed the book I knew I wanted to own the OED.

I selected the short, two volume version. For me it has the depth and detail of history and origins to satisfy my interests. When I use these volumes I feel connected to the 100+ years of effort it took to create them.
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
     
 
Customers who viewed this also viewed
New Oxford American Dictionary
New Oxford American Dictionary by Oxford University Press (Hardcover - September 2, 2010)
$33.99


Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, Fifth Edition
Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, Fifth Edition by Lesley Brown (Hardcover - December 31, 2002)
 
     

Send us feedback

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

Your Recently Viewed Items and Featured Recommendations 
 

After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in.