Buy Used
CDN$ 5.98
+ CDN$ 6.49 shipping
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Very gently used. Tight binding and clean pages.
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Merriam-Webster's Concise Dictionary of English Usage Paperback – Bargain Price, Dec 4 2001

3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback, Bargain Price, Dec 4 2001
CDN$ 31.52 CDN$ 5.98

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
click to open popover

No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.




Product Details

  • Paperback: 816 pages
  • Publisher: Merriam-Webster Inc (Dec 4 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0877796335
  • ISBN-13: 978-0877796336
  • ASIN: B004L2KNI2
  • Product Dimensions: 21.5 x 14.9 x 3.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 953 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,586,035 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  •  Would you like to update product info, give feedback on images, or tell us about a lower price?

Product Description

From Amazon

Merriam-Webster's Concise Dictionary of English Usage is a dictionary. It is not a usage guide. It is not Fowler, or Partridge, or Bernstein (nor, at 799 pages, is it exactly concise, but that's another matter). Unlike those eminent watchdogs of the English language, the editors of this volume are record-keepers, chronicling the way language is used, not the way it should be used. Based on Merriam Webster's Dictionary of English Usage, this book cites the classic English-language specialists generously but finds its true course by observing actual contemporary usage. Take the word discomfit, for example, the meaning of which (to thwart, foil, or frustrate) is staunchly defended in many usage guides. Sorry, says Merriam-Webster. Their survey says that the use of the word as a synonym to discomfort is so entrenched as to have become "thoroughly established" as the most prevalent meaning. Though the editors of this book are more reporters than campaigners, their prose is eminently readable, charming, and even, like that of the best usage enforcers, quirky. For instance, the word data, they claim, is a "queer fish," while errata "leads a double life," and yclept is "peculiar-looking." --Jane Steinberg

About the Author

The Merriam brothers desired a continuity of editorship that would link Noah Webster's efforts with their own editions, so they selected Chauncey A. Goodrich, Webster's son-in-law and literary heir, who had been trained in lexicography by Webster himself, to be their editor in chief. Webster's son William also served as an editor of that first Merriam-Webster dictionary, which was published on September 24, 1847.

Although Webster's work was honored, his big dictionaries had never sold well. The 1828 edition was priced at a whopping $20; in 13 years its 2,500 copies had not sold out. Similarly, the 1841 edition, only slightly more affordable at $15, moved slowly. Assuming that a lower price would increase sales, the Merriams introduced the 1847 edition at $6, and although Webster's heirs initially questioned this move, extraordinary sales that brought them $250,000 in royalties over the ensuing 25 years convinced them that the Merriams' decision had been abundantly sound.

The first Merriam-Webster dictionary was greeted with wide acclaim. President James K. Polk, General Zachary Taylor (hero of the Mexican War and later president himself), 31 U.S. senators, and other prominent people hailed it unreservedly. In 1850 its acceptance as a resource for students began when Massachusetts ordered a copy for every school and New York placed a similar order for 10,000 copies to be used in schools throughout the state. Eventually school use would spread throughout the country. In becoming America's most trusted authority on the English language, Merriam-Webster dictionaries had taken on a role of public responsibility demanded of few other publishing companies. 

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
1
4 star
0
3 star
0
2 star
1
1 star
0
See both customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Merriam-Webster's Concise Dictionary Of English Usage: The Essentials Of Clear Expression is a well organized, extremely practical, "user friendly" writer's reference. More than 2,000 extensive and meticulous entries discuss the nuances in the daily uses, both historical and present, of commonly confused words in the English language. Enhanced with a multi-page bibliography, Merriam-Webster's Concise Dictionary Of English Usage is a solid and highly recommended guide for anyone who works with words as a core aspect of their career.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Report abuse
By A Customer on June 20 2002
Format: Paperback
I was really disappointed with this book. I like words and I enjoy etymology. The precise word can make a poignant statement when used with stiletto accuracy. But, this book is babble using quotes to describe common and contrasting usage of a word. It has all the means but no end. There is nothing concise about this book.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Report abuse

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa57fa3b4) out of 5 stars 13 reviews
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa5846678) out of 5 stars For anyone who works with words Sept. 7 2002
By Midwest Book Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Merriam-Webster's Concise Dictionary Of English Usage: The Essentials Of Clear Expression is a well organized, extremely practical, "user friendly" writer's reference. More than 2,000 extensive and meticulous entries discuss the nuances in the daily uses, both historical and present, of commonly confused words in the English language. Enhanced with a multi-page bibliography, Merriam-Webster's Concise Dictionary Of English Usage is a solid and highly recommended guide for anyone who works with words as a core aspect of their career.
25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa58466cc) out of 5 stars Don't Buy This: No Navigational Aids! Aug. 13 2010
By William Cronon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is NOT an ebook version of the Merriam-Webster's excellent Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of English Usage, which would be well worth owning in Kindle format...IF Merriam-Webster went to the trouble of providing a reasonable hyperlinked navigation system for moving around the complex text. This volume has no navigational aids at all for the main body of the book, rendering it almost worthless. Merriam-Webster should know better. Big, sophisticated reference works of the kind it regularly produces really need to make the transition to ebook format, but this sorry attempt is worse than useless and should be withdrawn from the marketplace.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa58469a8) out of 5 stars Great on Kindle! Jan. 11 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Since the previous review was written Merriam-Webster has obviously made changes. The book has good navigation tools. The table of contents is hyperlinked as is an A-Z list to take you easily to the section you want. The book is also searchable which is probably the fastest way to find your way around. The explanations of word usage are clear and easy to use. All in all an excellent tool.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa58468a0) out of 5 stars This is working fine Dec 14 2013
By Masaaki - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Well some people wrote the hyperlinks of this dictionary are not working right. I bought this today and checked several words but I did not find any flaw. They are working fine on Mac, iPhone and Kindle. I found this dictionary very handy.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa5846a8c) out of 5 stars Useful guide to word usage April 21 2012
By pinerat - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I am fascinated with and by words.

Because of that, I found this book to be a useful dictionary, covering words from a/an and abbreviations to zoom, and the "problems" or differences that may arise in usage for those whose job is working with words.

There is also a short ("brief" in the words of the dictionary) history of the English language, a pronunciation guide, and a bibliography of source materials for the advice given in the body of the dictionary.


Feedback