(urth) Looking for dictionary recommedations

JWillard aldenweer at charter.net
Sun Jun 11 20:02:00 PDT 2006

Kate Savage wrote:

> I am looking for dictionary recommendations. I would like to purchase 
> a good reference book for all those obscure word's Wolfe use that I 
> have never seen before. I am thinking if getting a used copy of the 
> Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary but it isn't the 
> handiest format for casually looking up unfamiliar words. I am also 
> thinking of the Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged.
> Any other suggestions?
> Thanks in advance.
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Wolfe, from p. 250 of Castle of Days:  "The best dictionary I have found 
is The Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary.  I also 
recommend a small book called The New York Times Everyday Reader's 
Dictionary of Misunderstood, Misused, Mispronounced Words... A good desk 
dictionary, such as the American Heritage, is always of value.  So is a 
good Latin-English dictionary.
Be warned that anybody can call a dictionary Webster's - there's no 
copyright on that name.  The real McCoy...is Merriam-Webster's 
unabridged, but the current (third) edition has fallen among the 
flakes;  you can get better value for your money by buying the Random 

OED and W2 are my favorites, but they're both unwieldy.  (Good exercise, 

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