What is your favorite dictionary?

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What is your favorite dictionary?

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1barney67
Editado: Jun 9, 2014, 7:42 pm

What is your favorite dictionary or dictionaries and why? Have you got something rare? Where did you get it?

Please include:

• Title
• Editors
• Edition
• Publisher
• Year
• Where you got it
• Amount you paid

Please answer what you can. Much appreciated, as always. If I don't get many responses, I'll post this in another group.

2nathanielcampbell
Jun 9, 2014, 8:05 pm

Are you asking for English-only dictionaries or for foreign language dictionaries?

3barney67
Jun 9, 2014, 8:39 pm

English only.

4binders
Jun 10, 2014, 5:24 am

English-only excludes almost all of my favourite dictionaries.
The remaining ones would be:

Dictionary of Phrase and Fable
E. Cobham Brewer, new edition, Cassell & Co, 1903
Bought in two volumes at a ex-library book sale for $1 (AUD) the pair.

and
Macquarie Dictionary
Yallop, Bernard, Blair, Butler, Delbridge, Peters & Witton, 4th Ed., The Macquarie Library, 2005
Bought new at borders for $20

The former is a pleasure to read because of the odd and unexpected stories and folk etymologies within.
The latter because it describes the language I actually use, without too much censorship.

5Colby_Glass
Maio 19, 2015, 5:59 pm

My favorite English dictionary is my Oxford-English Dictionary (OED). I bought it used from a college and is fourteen huge volumes. I like to spend time just browsing, especially since it includes a quote with every slight change of meaning. Wonderful reading.

6languagehat
Jun 23, 2015, 9:15 am

My favorites are the OED (comprehensive in terms of both meaning and word history), Merriam-Webster Collegiate (my standard reference as a professional editor), the American Heritage (gorgeous and with superb etymologies, including appendices for both Indo-European and Semitic roots), and the Concise Oxford (great for UK usage).

7thorold
Jun 23, 2015, 11:38 am

The ones I actually use quite frequently are:
-OED (we have an online subscription at work) for anything serious.
-Shorter OED at home for cases where I'm not so interested in the timeline. I think I got it cheap as an introductory offer
-Fowler's Modern English Usage (I have a 1926 edition I got from my father, no idea what it cost) is consistently eccentric and occasionally useful for difficult points of grammar.
-A cheap and nasty paperback reprint of Grose's Dictionary of the vulgar tongue (probably cost me 20p on a market stall) is also surprisingly often useful. But I should get a more comprehensive dictionary of slang some time.

8nathanielcampbell
Jun 24, 2015, 6:43 am

>7 thorold: "consistently eccentric and occasionally useful for difficult points of grammar."

What a delightful description of Fowler! I had a linguistics prof in college who made us all read Fowler, for about the same reasons.

9languagehat
Jun 27, 2015, 6:42 pm

I highly recommend Oxford's A Dictionary of Modern English Usage: The Classic First Edition, with Fowler’s original text and an introduction and notes by David Crystal. I reviewed it here: http://languagehat.com/the-bookshelf-fowler-classic/

10vpfluke
Jun 29, 2015, 7:06 pm

I like the American Heritage Dictionary because it has a glossary of Indo-European roots at the rear. My second dictionary is the Oxford English Dictionary in a compact format.

11barney67
Mar 1, 2016, 1:49 pm

In a used bookstore, I found a copy of The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, New College Edition from 1979, edited by William Morris. Surprinsly large, with good-sized type (not Large Type).

When she went off to college many years ago, my sister was given an American Heritage dictionary from a bookish neighbor -- the full-sized 1981 edition, not the college edition (both edited by William Morris). It's actually quite usable and in good shape now. I was able to find a bookbinder who sewed the binding back together. V. difficult in this area. In fact, this was her last project before retiring.

Considering that it came free with my Mac eight years ago, the New Oxford American Dictionary Second Edition, edited by Erin McKean (2005-2009, copyright Apple), isn't bad at all. I use it often. Included is the Oxford American Writer's Thesaurus under a menu in same window, along with a menu for Wikipedia and Apple. If you want, you can select all the sources at once, then type in a word to get results from all of them. Includes pictures, pronunciation, and the built-in text-to-speech functions of the Mac. Free!

12languagehat
Mar 29, 2016, 9:38 am

I love the American Heritage Dictionary beyond all measure, and I would strongly urge anyone who also prefers it to get the latest (Fifth) edition, which has much more up-to-date words, explanations, and etymologies (etymologies are particularly important to me, and they are especially well done in AHD). If it will add to the temptation, I will point out that AHD now has an appendix of Semitic roots to match the (much improved) Indo-European one.