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Re: Oxford English Dictionary: Online Vs. Hardcopy

Community Guru
Kat C Member Since: Jul 11, 2016
1 of 15

Any fellow writers subscribe to the Oxford English Dictionary online?

 

Happy writing!

 

Smiley Happy

 

 

Community Guru
Rene K Member Since: Jul 10, 2014
2 of 15

What are the benefits compared to all the online free sources?

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"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
Community Guru
Kat C Member Since: Jul 11, 2016
3 of 15
That's also what I'm wondering....
Community Guru
Douglas Michael M Member Since: May 22, 2015
4 of 15

Kat,

 

Thanks for raising the question!

 

René,

 

You mean online free dictionaries in general, not free access to the OED, right?

 

The OED is a specialized tool for scholars and hobbyists. It's historically considered tops (though not infallible)  for etymology and word and usage history. Whether it's more current or accurate than other sources is variable—I'd say within a much narrower range than the standard online free dictionaries, which I find shallow and questionable. For etymology and history in particular, a rigorous librarian friend recommends the Online Etymology Dictionary

 

There are plenty of free resources. Wiktionary is worth looking at. I once saw what looked like a decent compendium of online dictionaries, good for comparative purposes. I think Google and less well curated vacuum-cleaner sites may have sucked up their market.

 

OED online may be available through a local university, though I think their license usually requires affiliation. I am happy to own a bound second edition with supplement (printed in miniature in two huge volumes, with long-gone slipcase and misplaced magnifying glass). I rarely use it, and arguably never for work. It's great for my obsession with language, and for Scrabble.

 

Best,

Michael

 

Community Guru
Kat C Member Since: Jul 11, 2016
5 of 15

@Douglas Michael M wrote:

Kat,

 

Thanks for raising the question!

 

René,

 

You mean online free dictionaries in general, not free access to the OED, right?

 

The OED is a specialized tool for scholars and hobbyists. It's historically considered tops (though not infallible)  for etymology and word and usage history. Whether it's more current or accurate than other sources is variable—I'd say within a much narrower range than the standard online free dictionaries, which I find shallow and questionable. For etymology and history in particular, a rigorous librarian friend recommends the Online Etymology Dictionary

 

There are plenty of free resources. Wiktionary is worth looking at. I once saw what looked like a decent compendium of online dictionaries, good for comparative purposes. I think Google and less well curated vacuum-cleaner sites may have sucked up their market.

 

OED online may be available through a local university, though I think their license usually requires affiliation. I am happy to own a bound second edition with supplement (printed in miniature in two huge volumes, with long-gone slipcase and misplaced magnifying glass). I rarely use it, and arguably never for work. It's great for my obsession with language, and for Scrabble.

 

Best,

Michael

 


Thanks, Michael!

 

The purported "greater precision" is what sparked my curiosity. 

 

Being an unrelenting consumer of words (I'm always seeking bigger, brighter and bolder verbiage to fuse into my writing), the more information about the word, the more sticky it becomes in my long term memory.

 

Does anyone have a favorite online thesaurus?

 

 

Active Member
john w Member Since: Oct 23, 2016
6 of 15

Thank you, kind sir, for the link to the Etymology Dictionary---the richness, depth, and color of words would forever suffer without such resources.

Community Guru
Rene K Member Since: Jul 10, 2014
7 of 15

Thanks Michael. On my Mac I have a dictionary app which is sourced by the New Oxford American Dictionary (US English) and the Oxford Thesaurus of English (UK English). I don't know if this is related to OED or not, but it is more than enough for my own purposes.

 

I also use Druide's Antidote, which is a proofreading tool for French & English, embedding a set of dictionaries and a whole range of grammar and style guides.

 

Stupidly, it never occurred to the people who publish this product that they should translate their website into English.

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"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
8 of 15

I use online OED as a quick and very useful reference as it generally gets the US/UK thing right. I do not subscribe to it annually (very, very expensive).

 

For US , my hard-copy armrest and reference is Merriam Webster. For UK I have hard copy OED, Collins and Chambers.

 

For French/English/French I have a series of dictionaries that date back to the 18th century - it all depends what I am  tranlsating.

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Active Member
Günther V Member Since: May 12, 2015
9 of 15

Correct - they did not even responded to my offer to tranmslate their website - maybe you should ask them in french ? (I got a couple of good jobs by offering companies to translate their websiteswhich i found in the www !)

Community Guru
Kat C Member Since: Jul 11, 2016
10 of 15

I just want to add...

 

I have great admiration for all of the successful translators.

 

Mastering the English language is a challenge on its own merit, and then having mastery in translating from a source to a target language, with all of the twists and turns each language holds, is marvelous. 

 

 

 

 

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