Finding the #Write #Words? No. 23: Oxford Dictionary of Current Idiomatic English.

Continuing the description of books on words and language listed in the introductory post, which you’ll find here.

Book 23: Oxford Dictionary of Current Idiomatic English. subtitled Volume 1: Verbs with Prepositions and Particles:

Hardback, 396 pages, including 2 indices. First published in 1975 by Oxford University Press. Mine is the 1984 sixth impression. I acquired it as part of a bundle of promotional books from a book club and therefore paid nothing for it. It is no longer in print, but a used copy is available for £3.90 and a used set of the two volumes is currently available for £45.00. A paperback revision, entitled ‘Oxford Phrasal Verbs Dictionary for learners of English’, 432 pages, was published in 2006 and is available new for £19.48.

I chose it because of my love of books about the English language, but I have rarely used it, because of the abstract nature of its layout.

Opened randomly, at pages 162/163, it reveals the scholarly nature of its presentation as follows: ‘indoctrinate (with) [B2 pass emph rel] (formal) deliberately teach sb to hold certain views, attitudes etc, possibly using methods that leave the person unable to resist, or to maintain opposite ideas. o Catholicism; Communism; Socialism – It was clear that our guests had been indoctrinated with some strange notion that the end of the world would come in 1984. – It is against the Geneva Convention for prisoners to be indoctrinated with ideas alien to their culture and cherished beliefs.’ These ‘articles’ carry on through induce in to instil in at the foot of page 163.

Whilst the examples of usage given do provide useful guidance, the various codes, symbols, abbreviations and notes are likely to prove obscure and unhelpful to all but the most educated and determined of learners. If I tell you there are 77, yes, seventy-seven, pages of instructions and guidance on how to use, interpret and understand the book before the actual dictionary begins, I suspect you’ll have some idea of just how ‘academic’ this work is. I would not recommend it for either general use or for those attempting to learn the language.

English is a complex language, made up of words from many countries, and borrows rules of grammar, punctuation and even style from the originating lands, which can make it interestingly familiar to learners but also frequently frustratingly baffling to the same students.

Those learning the English Language will find help on pronunciation here. And you’ll find a friendly group on Facebook through this link.

And, for those with an interest in English and considering their future, here’s a link that suggests the many possible career opportunities open to those with a degree in English. It’s also a link to an online university, and therefore an advert for their services. I know nothing of the institution, but the list of possible career choices might be useful.

Post 2, A Dictionary of Misunderstood Misused Mispronounced Words. Post 3, A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English. Post 4, A Miscellany for Word Lovers. Post 5, AMERICAN ENGLISH ENGLISH AMERICAN.  Post 6, A Dictionary of Rhyming Slang. Post 7, Brit-think, American-think. Post 8, Bryson’s Dictionary for Writers and Editors. Post 9, Collins English Dictionary. Post 10, Current English Usage. Post 11, Descriptionary; a Thematic Dictionary. Post 12, Divided by a Common Language. Post 13, Eats Shoots & Leaves. Post 14, English Prepositional Idioms. Post 15, Fowler’s Modern English Usage. Post 16, Hart’s Rules for Compositors and Readers. Post 17, Hartrampf’s Vocabulary Builder. Post 18, i before e (except after c). Post 19, Longman Companion to English Literature. Post 20, New Hart’s Rules. Post 21, New Nuttall Dictionary of English Synonyms and Antonyms. Post 22, Oxford Compact Thesaurus.

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