- Series: American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language
- Hardcover: 2112 pages
- Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Trade; 5 Ind Thm edition (November 1, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0547041012
- ISBN-13: 978-0547041018
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 2.6 x 11 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (172 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #277,297 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition 5 Ind Thm Edition
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Learning/education is a lifelong process, and a dictionary is as essential to a home as plumbing and electricity! Instead of purchasing new software for that gaming device or a ginormous TV for the family room, consider purchasing the American Heritage Dictionary for a holiday family gift instead. It's affordable, will last a lifetime, and may even become a family heirloom!
For the entries, I looked at a short section near the word "dictionary." Compared to the fourth edition, the fifth edition dropped "didapper" (a type of grebe) and added "dicyclomine" (a medical drug); this reflects a greater emphasis on technical words. (This continues a trend that has been occurring since the first edition -- dropping "Dictograph" and "Didache" and adding "dictyosome" and "didanosine.")
To me, the outstanding feature of the American Heritage Dictionary has been the side notes -- not just synonyms, but also usage notes, word histories, etc. Unfortunately, in this respect, the fifth edition is considerably weaker than the fourth.
In the L section through "limbo", the fourth edition has 24 words with side notes (excluding synonyms), but the fifth edition has only 13. That is, about half of the old side notes are gone. The fifth edition no longer has a word history for "lemon", a usage note for "lifestyle", or a regional note for "lightning bug." There is also a small reduction in the number of words with synonyms.
These side notes made the American Heritage Dictionary fun for browsing, and the fifth edition is much weaker in this regard than the fourth. It's still an excellent dictionary, but less interesting and enjoyable than the previous edition.
* the two-page spread of "Entries with Notes" [pp. vi-vii in The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition : Print and CD-ROM Edition listing headwords that had Regional Notes, Our Living Language Notes, Synonym Notes, Usage Notes, and Word History Notes have disappeared without a trace
* "Regional Patterns of American Speech" essay by Lee Pederson [pp. xvi-xxi in the 4th] is nowhere to be found
* While some headwords have notes appended to them that they hadn't in the past, a lot of notes form the 4th edition are simply missing. (such as with ERR)
* some notes haven't been updated even though the situation remains fluid (such as a usage note at FORTE (1) hasn't been updated and still lists Usage Panel survey data from 1996)
* Indo-European and Semitic roots appendixes appear (after perusing the dictionary for a couple of days) to be exactly the same. (For instance, the new entry THOBE isn't referenced in the Semitic Roots appendix at all)
* Font size has changed from slightly smaller (in essays and entries) to a lot smaller (in Indo-European and Semitic Roots appendixes). Problem is that while making the font smaller did shave off over 6 pages (from 35,5 to 29) from Indo-European Roots appendix, it only shaved off half-a-page from Semitic Roots appendix, thus not reducing the page number at all. Why couldn't the font size been left the same in Semitic Roots appendix?Read more ›
The other dictionaries might have better selections and more extras (and I would most *definitely* prefer a CD/download that works on Windows instead of iOS or Android), but this is the one where I would enjoy the experience.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Steven Pinker and his band of boobs have destroyed what was the best American English dictionary available. If you have a copy of the 4th edition, hang on to it. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Michael D. Mcgee
A great dictionary that I love to get lost in. I'll never be one to use an online dictionary - there are too many treasures to be discovered when one looks up a word and ends up... Read morePublished 9 days ago by Blue Cities
This dictionary far exceeded my expectations. As a hobby I read for Librivox and continually come across uncommon words whose pronunciation I am either unsure of or don't know. Read morePublished 17 days ago by Seymour M. Pelton
Excellent dictionary that includes words for people with a broadened vocabulary.Published 24 days ago by Thomas G. Brown
I was extremely excited to delve into words. My background training is almost exclusively science except for a single history course, and I've been itching to get into language,... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Sam
Great for school, amazed at how many new words that have been added.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer