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Encarta World English Dictionary Hardcover – August, 1999
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
English doesn't belong to England--or any other country--any more. It's a global language now, a lingua franca with over 1.5 billion speakers, readers, and writers, so it's about time our reference shelves caught up with reality. The Encarta World English Dictionary, spawn of the popular Microsoft CD-ROM and Internet reference products, covers this new development in the language thoroughly and efficiently, creating a reference tool for anyone hooked into the new global culture. From the basics (American, British, Australian) to the fringes of English distribution in Africa and Asia, the Encarta staff track variant spellings, meanings, and pronunciations in over 100,000 entries comprising some 3.5 million words. If, for example, your Asian correspondent asks you for your "biodata," you can quickly and painlessly learn that she needs your résumé.
Its streamlined entry style emphasizes quick absorption of each word's meaning; still, browsers and researchers are rewarded with etymological and lexicographical information rivaling that found in its competitors. Over 3,000 black-and-white illustrations and 10,000 biographical and geographical entries spanning the centuries (from Gerry Adams to Zoroaster) round out the dictionary and provide depth. With all these features, Encarta World English Dictionary lives up to its promise as a reference tool for our postmodern one-world future. --Rob Lightner
From Library Journal
Lexicographer Soukhanov, "Word Watch" columnist for the Atlantic Monthly and former editor of The American Heritage Dictionaly, draws on the resources of MicrosoftR EncartaR to produce what is being touted as the first new dictionary in 30 years. Arranged letter by letter, it contains over 100,000 headwords, including 10,000 biographical and geographical entries. Each entry includes syllabication, pronunciation (with the pronunciation key across the bottom of the double-spread pages), inflections (tenses, forms of adjectives, and irregular plurals), part of speech, etymologies, and, sometimes, quotations illustrating the use of the word. The different meanings are arranged with the most commonly used senses appearing early in the definition and the less frequently used ones toward the end. The dictionary also includes a useful feature called "quick definitions"Aa brief summary set in small capitals at the beginning of the definition. Another interesting facet is the inclusion of English-language words from countries besides England and the United States. According to Soukhanov, this is "the first dictionary bringing together not only the two main spelling forms of the language (American English and British English) but also all the other main varieties of our language, from Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and the Pacific Rim." Compared to Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (1998. 10th ed.), this dictionary is small, but it includes terms not found in Merriam-Webster's, such as "DVD" and the Australian "barbie." For this reason, it is recommended for most libraries as a useful tool for patrons looking for words just recently finding their way into our language.
-ACynthia A. Johnson, Barnard Coll. Lib., New York
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top customer reviews
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The definitions are easy to understand and each one starts with the main idea of the definition in BOLD. That way you can easily scan through and find the definition that fits.
There are also lots of nice pictures.
The Encarta is well thought out and there are not a bunch of new symbols you need to learn like some other dictionaries (Longman)
The only thing I don't like about this dictionary is the derivations - very often there will be some odd or little known word within the derivation that I have to look up. So I use another source to look up derivations. (I Google the word like this: etymology + man and get a good explanation)
There is a smaller Encarta but this one has more entries.
Lastly - it is a heavy book so keep that in mind if you're going to be carrying it very far on a day to day basis.
Considering how much these cost new, and how much I love this dictionary, I was very happy with the product.