- Publisher: Merriam Webster; 10th edition (September 15, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0877794693
- ISBN-13: 978-0877794691
- Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.5 x 4.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.3 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 47 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,795,954 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary & Thesaurus, Electronic Edition 10th Edition
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This is a huge volume (about 3" thick), beautifully presented in library style binding and wafer thin, high quality paper. It includes illustrations, anecdotes, stories on word origins and usage; and even synonyms of particularly interesting words. These references are spread throughout the pages in different blocks of color for easy recognition. The illustrations are very realistic, using colors that approach the ones given by Mother Nature. Before starting to use it, I reccommend paying close attention to the "Explanatory Notes". Here is everything needed to know in order to milk this dictionary to its fullest. Every reason is given as to why items appear listed in the way they do, what were the basis used for etymology of the words, etc. The "Guide to Pronounciation" is both interesting and exciting, enabling us to produce a myriad of sounds we probably never knew existed. I am the kind of reader who looks up every unknown word in her dictionary and, so far, there is not a single one I haven't found; not even if belonging to a dialect or if it is a word with foreign roots.
Two appendixes complete this magnanimous volume: a biographical one and a geographical guide. Although brief, these two listings will quickly clear up any doubts on identity or place. There are also listings for symbols, such as weather, chemistry, mathematics, even stamp collecting. A supplementary "Handbook of Style" to refer to when writing a paper or in need of punctuation advise completes the dictionary and makes also an invaluable tool for writers of any kind.
This is THE dictionary that should be in every household as a more general, complete reference. Even if there are other, smaller or more specific references around; you would want this volume as your backbone.
I love the double click on any word that bring you directly to the entry of that word, so much convenient.
The Audio is definitely why I wanted to buy this Edition for. I thought to buy the Unabridged CD Edition but it doesn't have the audio pronounciation :(, why they just create a version with a 2 or more disc set that can contain all the audio files or just create a DVD version? This is certainly a disapointment to me but not for this Edition though.
Another nice part I like is the illustrations to the words. Nicer, in some of the pictures, there are also descriptions, such as for horse, it also points out every part of the horse itself....
The macros installed into the MS Word are also a very good feature. Whenever you see red giglies to the word you just typed in, you can use this micro by either of the two ways, you will figure them out very easily, and it will look it up for you.
Installation is very easy too to both XP and 2000 systems.
It's definitely a good deal. I highly recommend it.
But unfortunately, you'll have to minimize your current program to get to the desktop icon for this program, since it offers no way to pop it up from an icon in the tray -- its worst shortcoming, in my view.
The only way to have it immediately available is by running it, then minimizing it to the taskbar, where it consumes space along with other programs you may already have minimized there. I suppose that's really a minor quibble, but it bugs me greatly because there's no reason beyond lazy programming that it couldn't have offered a tray icon option.
The two exceptions to that are if you're writing in MS Word or Corel's WordPerfect, where macros can be installed as buttons, allowing you to highlight a word and pop it up in the dictionary/thesaurus by clicking that button.
But that's a sadly limited use of a major program's pop-up capability, which with a little extra programming could have been expanded to include virtually any selected word on the screen, as is possible with some other electronic dictionaries.
That notwithstanding, the program offers the same robust selection of definitions and synonyms you'll find in the printed Merriam-Webster Collegiate, but with a number of easily clickable search options for finding them. They're also presented in basically the same excellent format Merriam-Webster uses in its printed versions.
If you can't find a suitable word in the 225,000 definitions and 340,000 synonyms and related words available in this program, you're probably looking for something that'll drive whoever's reading what you're writing to a dictionary.
Selecting the dictionary or thesaurus is as quick and easy as clicking on either from a drop-down menu prominently at the top of the program -- and you can set either as the default on startup.
Other configuration preferences are sparsely limited to changing text size/color and background color, and setting a default for any of the 19 search "types."
To look up a word, you can select from three tabbed options:
Basic Searches (Entry word is...): You'd likely use this most. As soon as you enter the first letter a list pops up in a lower window with everything beginning with that letter. As you type additional letters, you increasingly drill down to words nearer what you're looking for, ending with your word highlighted when you type the final letter. This is basically exactly the same routine as when you use the "Find" feature of any Windows help program -- and sure beats flipping through pages of a book.
Advanced Searches: This is a Boolean thing using AND, OR, NOT and some possible parenthetical expressions. I found it to be mostly an advanced piece of uselessness.
Browse: This is basically like thumbing through a printed dictionary starting at some letter and functions exactly the same as drilling down through the letters of a word using the Basic search feature. But -- and that's a big BUT -- its two options of searching for either the beginning or ending of a word can be a lifesaver when you have no idea how to begin spelling that word. For example: Try looking up "ptarmigan" under "T" or "mnemonic" under "N." You'll get nowhere fast on either. But search for the fairly obvious endings and sooner than later you'll find those words.
One other quibble I have with this program is that it refuses to recognize my USB mouse wheel for scrolling through the word lists. But I've learned to be content with the side slider.
Its few shortcomings aside, at Amazon's price this program's a world-class bargain, functions flawlessly for what it's intended and hands down beats wrestling with a book.