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Sometimes it seems that there are as many collections of archaic words as there are archaic words. Most of them are amusing in their own esoteric sort of way, but few aim for more than entertainment value. David Grambs watches over words gone (or going) by in the same way that the National Wildlife Federation watches over grizzly bears and timber wolves. He would like his readers to think of his Endangered English Dictionary as "a constant reminder of the words that could have been, that fell through the cracks. Or--" he challenges, "if you and enough others make imaginative use of this book--that still could become part of our everyday usage." Toward this goal, Grambs has chosen "common-use, nontechnical words," and he has arranged his book as a two-way dictionary.
So if you are looking for a compact way to describe something--a flower, say--that smells strongest at night, try "noctuolucent." If you were a delicate blossom, or even a whole "tuzzymuzzy" (a bunch of flowers), you too might wish to avoid the "sizzard" (unbearably humid heat) of summer days. --Jane Steinberg
Grambs (The Describer's Dictionary, LJ 2/ 15/93) includes entries here not usually found in smaller paperback dictionaries- for example, "habile," which means able or skillful, and "uvid," which means moist or wet. His book is arranged in standard dictionary form with simplified meanings and usage illustrations, such as "dangerously esquillous lumber" (meaning splintery). The work also includes an easy pronunciation system and a reverse glossary that allows the user to look up words by definition. The entries have been largely compiled from the OED, the second and third editions of Webster's New International Dictionary, and Funk & Wagnall's Standard Dictionary. Libraries that already own several of these dictionaries or at least one good one and a thesaurus will have little need for this title. Recommended only for libraries that collect heavily in this area.
Neal Wyatt, Mary Washington Coll. Lib., Fredericksburg, Va.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Interesting, informative, and oddly enough, a great read. I consider it a great addition to my reference library.Published 2 months ago by c kelly
These words are just fun--our language continues to grow and change, and this book illustrates some of the changes that have taken place. Read morePublished 19 months ago by alaskafan