"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney

Monday, April 18, 2011

Oxford English Dictionary

A writer uses many tools: pencil, pen, paper, computer, an imagination and a good dictionary and thesaurus.


The Oxford English Dictionary is an unabridged dictionary based on historical principles and answers questions about English spelling, grammar, usage and origin. The OED is also a record of the English language and provides timelines of when words entered the English language. It is considered the longest and most complete official dictionary.
There is also an OED Thesaurus. This companion provides aid choosing the correct word and meaning based on currency and style, synonyms, metaphors, and organized information on the history of the words.
On Amazon you can purchase an unabridged 20 volume set of the OED for more than $1200 and a two volume set of the OED thesaurus for $500.
However, you can also find a free online version of both: http://oxforddictionaries.com/
The use of words is the most important skill a writer can have. Therefore, you must have access to one of the best “word” resources. Good luck and happy writing!

83 comments:

Linda H. said...

Thanks for the link, Sylvia.

Melissa Sarno said...

Thanks for sharing this resource! I am ashamed to say that I'm a writer and I rarely use dictionaries or a thesaurus. (blushes)

Unknown said...

Absolutely, my father always encouraged me in this way when still at school, too. When I first began at college, that set of dictionaries was one of his gifts.

shelly said...

Thank you much for the link.

Luana Krause said...

I used them quite often in book form, but since the Internet took over the world, I use the online versions. However, I have a big, beautiful dictionary that I can't part with. It has color illustrations scattered here and there and all kind of research aids. I'm keeping it as a relic for future generations.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the link. The OED is a vital tool for writers and anyone who plays "Call My Bluff".

Jeff Beesler said...

Very true. Without such tools at our disposal, including the internet now, writers would not be nearly so successful. What a great subject matter for the letter of O!

Nofretiri said...

Well, I have a small Oxford edtion, which is pretty enough for me ... first of all I prefer writing in German. Then I have to admit, I DO have the German equivalent, wich is the Duden. But no matter in which language I write, I'm happy to have the possibility to search online! :-)

Karin @ Nofretiris Dream Of Writing

Allison said...

I usually use the computer dictionary for a quick look-up at work, but I LOVE thumbing through an actual bound dictionary!

- allison writes

the writing pad said...

I always go to the OED for most trusted info. Thanks for the link to the online version (sometimes it's just easier to stay sitting at the computer!)
All best, Karla

scribbleandedit.blogspot.co.uk said...

No don't tell them about the online version encourage them to get the proper book versions! :O)

Anonymous said...

I'm not a writer but the dictionary is the book I use most from our library, I'm forever having to dash away from the computer to look up something. Being Australian I use "The Macquarie", but I like to look up words in various dictionaries for the slightly different shades of meaning they can give.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this information...My dictionary is permanantly attached to my elbow so this will be a great help.
thank you for dropping in on thefeatherednest

Christa Desir said...

Oh the OED.... Lovely and so helpful. Reminds me of Dash and Lily's Book of Dares.

Mary@GigglesandGuns said...

Now here's a topic that never would have come to mind.
I love my dictionary.

Plain Jane said...

I have always been an avid reader, but would just guess at the meaning of words instead of looking them up. Then I met my husband who carried a dictionary around with him where ever he went and I discovered that I was WRONG on more than one definition. Oops.
PS. thanks for visiting my blog...Isn't this A to Z thing fun!?!

Jolene Perry said...

I LOVE that this stuff is all online now. I pop on and offline the whole time I'm writing to use the tools there.

Unknown said...

Great post! Dictionaries are my best friend.

Petra said...

Free version is my kind of version. Thanks for the resource!

Cindy said...

Did I just read that right? 20 volume dictionary set?

Sylvia Ney said...

Cindy - yes, 20 volumes. There is A LOT of information on each word!

Jenny said...

I'm a word nerd. My children consider me their own personal (walking) thesaurus. Love OED! And isn't thesaurus just a fun word in itself?? :) Returning your visit from the A-Z challenge. Love your blog, and thanks for the nice compliments on mine! Happy Easter! :)

Unknown said...

Hi Sylvia!
I could NOT live without a dictionary and a thesaurus! I would be LOST in this world! To bad that link no longer works! I'm reading this a year later, though!
I'm from the 2012 A to Z!
Thanks for the article!
Laurie Carlson
laurieisreading (AT) gmail (DOT)com

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This kind of reference is really useful especially on research based activities that you wanted to have a guaranteed answer. It's also wonderful to have a good skills in writing that you can achieve in writing essays company australia.

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You are absolutely right! The use of words is the most important skill a professional writer can have. If you are unfamiliar with the whole writing process overall, simply use any paper writing services online in order to succeed. They use proper synonyms and metaphors.

Emma Quillen said...

It is easy to get Good info in the shape of picture, videos and books.

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