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The second edition of the Canadian Oxford Dictionary was launched with a fanfare of hype that is unusual for a utilitarian reference book. Its inclusion of distinctively Canadian entries (yes, two-four, hoser, double-double, and Wawa are all here) launched a thousand lighthearted radio clips. Its tremendous utility as a reference work, however, wasn't touted on the morning shows. The Canadian Oxford Dictionary has been the standard reference work on English as it is spoken and written in Canada since it was first published in 1998. It is the dictionary of choice for nearly every newspaper, broadcaster, magazine, and publishing house in the country. It's a mandatory purchase for any Canadian whose life or living is dependent on the written word, and belongs in every Canadian library.
This new edition adds a number of revisions--some large, some tiny. A new clutch of Canada-specific words has been introduced, and the biographies and geographical notes have been revised and expanded. These goodies are pleasing enough, but they don't explain why every Canadian who writes will need this dictionary: it's the single most essential document of Canadian English, a language that is neither British nor American. There is more to this distinction than colour versus color, or centre versus center--there are a thousand tiny inflections of spelling and usage, many of which are being eroded by International English, especially as it is enforced by Microsoft spell-checking routines. The dictionary's preferred usage toes the Canadian line, but in a passive way. In many cases, Americanisms are presented without comment as accepted variations, not intrusions.
Best of all, this is a dictionary of the living language. A good dictionary lags about five years behind street-level slang and races 40 years ahead of linguistic pedants, and the editors at Oxford University Press have found this sweet spot. Alongside the much-touted Canadian words, browsers will find hip-hop slang, computerese, political euphemisms, and marketing jargon. There may not be enough that's truly new to this edition to justify the purchase price for casual readers and writers who already own the first edition. But even writers who couldn't care less about nouns that end with "ice" and verbs that end with "ise" will find the Canadian Oxford Dictionary useful as a comprehensive guide to the English of the day--at least, as it is spoken in the north of North America. --Jack Illingworth --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
This new edition of the well-received Canadian Oxford Dictionary (COD), published in 1998, includes many additions to Canadian and standard English. The preface states that more than 5,000 new words have been added, particularly in the information technology and alternative medicine fields. More than 200 new Canadian terms have also been identified and added; altogether, the dictionary defines 2,200 Canadian words and senses.
As with the previous edition, definitions are arranged so that the meaning most familiar to Canadians comes first. New to this edition are preferred word breaks and parts of speech that are written in full instead of being abbreviated. Part of the fun in a guide to Canadian English is checking the differences between standard American and Canadian pronunciations and spellings: schedule is pronounced skedule and red is a color on the American side of the border, but schedule and colour prevail on the Canadian side. Chesterfield, gold eye, jam buster, and other Canadian expressions and words will be found here, as will new words and terms known more widely, such as supersize and weapon of mass destruction. The COD also includes short entries for proper nouns and names of more than 1,400 Canadian places and 850 Canadian people as well as people and geographical locations from around the world. Like the first edition, the second concludes with several appendixes: a six-page style guide, a list of the prime ministers and governors general of Canada, weights and measures (Canada measures using the metric system), a short history of the English language, and the Arabic, Hebrew, Greek, and Russian alphabets.
The COD is a must for any U.S. library close to the Canadian border and for academic institutions with Canadian studies programs (or programmes). Canadian libraries will want to update their reference collections with this latest edition, which is also a worthy edition to any Canadian home reference collection. Terri Tomchyshyn
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
I am unhappy that this item DOES NOT have any etymology notes in the entries, otherwise it is quite serviceablePublished 23 days ago by George Winsor