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Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language

McArthur, Tom (editor); McArthur, Roshan (assistant editor)
Publisher:  Oxford University Press
Year Published:  2005   First Published:  1998
Pages:  692pp   ISBN:  0-19-280637-8

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This is a paperback reissue of the 1998 abridgement of The Oxford Companion to the English Language. As the original companion presented key aspects of English at the cusp of the 20th - 21st century, then the abridgement presents even "keyer" aspects of the event. Here is coverage of the varieties of English around the world, the cultural impact of the language, the nature and origins of words, some pronunciation, vocabulary, usage, and word-formation. There are chronologies and a theme bibliography in the appendices. It is, like other companions, arranged in dictionary style, A - Z, with copious cross-references.

Audience or interest level: writers, general public, reference book.

Some interesting facts: This is just a reissue of the 1998 edition, but in paper covers. The "concise" is a further cut down version of the 1996 "abridgement" to the full-sized Companion (published in 1992). Thus, this is a reprint of a reduction of a reduction of an original. Got that?

What I don't like about this resource (its shortcomings): cheap paper and a modest binding, designed to keep the price down.

What I do like about this resource (its positives): a great buy, even cheaper through the online book stores.

Quality-to-Price Ratio: 95

[Review by Dean Tudor]

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