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The Oxford English Dic...
John Andrew Simpson
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The Oxford English Dictionary: 20 Volume Set and CD-ROM [With CDROM]

4.72  ·  Rating details ·  216 ratings  ·  38 reviews
The 20-Volume OED and the new Version 3.0 CD-ROM makes exploring the resources of the most authoritative dictionary of the English language easy and complete.
The Oxford English Dictionary is the internationally recognized authority on the evolution of the English language from 1150 to the present day. The Dictionary defines over 500,000 words and traces their usage throug
Hardcover, 22000 pages
Published December 28th 2002 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 1933)
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Nov 21, 2007 rated it did not like it
Man this book is booooooooring... It's just a bunch of definitions.... ...more
Bob Peru
Jun 20, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tore-read
i'm workin' my way straight through! really. my vocab is gonna be HUGE! and then maybe i can move away from all my "hick tawk". prolly not. ...more
Melody Schwarting
Jun 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: r-nf-gen
I love reference books. Indeed, I was that child who set out to read the dictionary. Frankly, it's not the best way to improve one's vocabulary, but it made me feel like a Scripp's kid (if you thought I didn't grow up watching the Bee live on TV and idolizing the spellers, you thought wrong).

Fast forward to college, I learned about the Oxford English Dictionary in college. Sure, I knew such a thing existed, but until then, I'd never had access to the OED, and thus was uninitiated into its powers
Oct 14, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: writing, reference
The Oxford English Dictionary, or OED, is probably the best reference dictionary in the entire world. I have the 1989 20-volume set and so far have yet come up empty when looking something up, which I do at least once a week.

It is a prized centerpiece of my book collection and I cannot imagine that it - like airplane tickets, good running shoes and anything by Ross Thomas or Jim Thompson - is anything short of an investment in my future and that of my family.
Adrian Colesberry
May 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reference
I got this in 1987, so I'm not sure I have this edition. I might have the one before. In any case, this is my most prized book (are the most prized books) in my collection. ...more
Jason Martian
May 16, 2013 rated it it was ok
This was not as riveting a read as one might suspect and the ending was too predictable.
Well, not "Read" like "Finished," but I dip into it a lot. ...more
Apr 24, 2015 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: essential-basics
Essential reference for a complete understanding of the English language. Highly recommended.
Anton Caldwell
Apr 29, 2012 marked it as to-read
Simpson, John, Editor (1989) The Oxford English Dictionary
ISBN-10: 0198611862 $924.31
Content/Scope: The entirety of the English Language, by definition. Literally.
Accuracy/Authority: The Oxford Dictionary is one of the most well-known and widely-accepted dictionaries in the world. It is arguably one of the most authoritative dictionaries in the English Speaking world.
Arrangement/Presentation: No visuals, words in alphabetical order
Rationale: Every reference collection needs a good dictionary, an
Ayne Ray
Nov 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The most comprehensive dictionary of the English language (this second edition consists of over half a million words), its true beauty is the extensive etymology of over 2.5 million quotations. Not only a scholarly masterpiece, it's also a tremendous amount of fun to peruse. Read "The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary" for the unusual story of Dr. W.C. Minor, one of the major contributors to the original edition, who was incarce ...more
Jul 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Most likely, the OED is completely impractical as an everyday-use dictionary or for school. However, as a reference dictionary, it is probably without peer, thoroughly documenting the history of each and every word to have ever been published in the English language, with every definition and sense listed in chronological order. I'm really looking forward to the publication of the dictionary's third edition, while realizing that it could be impractical for it to appear in print (with a possible ...more
Nov 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reference
I am torn. I haven't the shelf space for a personal copy (to heck with the miniature two volume with magnifying glass, I say) and have yet to receive a set, complete with bookcase, as a Valentine's day gift, but I am not luddite enough to stay away from the online subscription I have access to at work. Print vs. electronic? I say yes to both.

Recent wordquisition: "long in the tooth" does refer to age, derived from estimating a horse's age based on its teeth.

I heart etymology!

May 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reference
Ever since I was a young boy I dreamed of owning the greatest dictionary in the world. One day my energy company told me I had been overcharged for several years and they owed me £350!

A couple of days later while browsing Amazon wondering how to spend it (as one does in times of good or ill fortune), I found the OED on special offer at £450!

One of my dreams has come true.

Now if only Tara would call me after all these years. . . . . .
Feb 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: English speakers
Without doubt the greatest lexical achievement produced thus far and probably the best printed dictionary that will ever be (since it'll all be just internets from here on out). Beautifully made, cleanly written, and tremendously researched. Fun just to leaf through, definitive in settling disagreements this is a book more people should spend more time with, myself included. ...more
Aarron Kemp
Jun 18, 2010 is currently reading it
The perfect gift for a freshly minted MLIS graduate. :-) Every entry is a small story that allows for reflection upon how the word has played a role (or has yet to) in my life. Geeky, meditative, and profoundly satisfying.
Truly, if I were ever stranded on a deserted island, the bound version of the OED is all I would need. Well, a songbook with the lyrics to all my favorite Christmas songs would also be nice. I could probably last in isolation indefinitely if I only had those 2 books.
Sep 16, 2007 rated it it was amazing
This is pretty dry, but I find myself thinking about it daily so there must be something to it. Stylistic very avante garde.
Dec 18, 2007 rated it it was amazing
This is one "book" I'll never read all the way through, but it's one of my favorites. ...more
Mar 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Zelda by: the best thing my dad ever got me
Awesome for bragging rights alone, and it's always fun to aid weaker lexicon owners in times of crisis. ...more
Apr 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one "book" I don't think you can ever move to the "read" shelf... ...more
Crazy Uncle Ryan
May 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dictionaries
The OED rules in the Heavens as the great and powerful god of all English dictionaries. This is hands down the most complete dictionary of the English Language ever made.
Aug 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
No, I haven't finished reading it. ...more
Aug 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: academia
The greatest single achievemnt of acadamia in the english language
Ist 605
An essential resource for any mid-size college with a large population of English majors.

Oct 31, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If I had this book on a desert island, my life would not miss a beat.
Gage Young
Nov 07, 2008 marked it as to-read
I feel that after completing Dr. Suess's One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, I am fully prepared to read the 20 volume set of the Oxford Dictionary. ...more
Dec 10, 2008 added it
Yeah I Read it... Wanna prove I didn't?????. It was just okay. Mundane plot and lacked a believable ending ...more
My favorite! Will I ever finish?
Dusty Hope
Jul 25, 2009 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
online edition. brilliant but annoying. surprisingly incomplete. more a catalog of historical usage than strictly a dictionary (pure dictionary: websters international tops).
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The Oxford English Dictionary 2 16 Oct 21, 2008 06:57PM  
John Simpson joined the staff of the Oxford English Dictionary in the summer of 1976. He was appointed Chief Editor in 1993. He is a member of the English Faculty at Oxford and of the Philological Society (where the idea of the Dictionary was first mooted in the 1850s), and a Fellow of Kellogg College. He is a world expert on proverbs and slang, and has edited dictionaries on both these subjects f ...more

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