I’m going to start this week’s Reference Resources Blog with two quotes for your edification-
And it should be the law: If you use the word “paradigm” without knowing what the dictionary says it means, you go to jail. No exceptions.
The dictionary is the only place that success comes before work. Hard work is the price we must pay for success. I think you can accomplish anything if you’re willing to pay the price.
As you might suspect by now, I love dictionaries; really love them. I think that they are windows into the minds of the people who produced them, and onto their culture. (that’s the anthropologist in me talking!) Think about it; if you look up a word in, say, our copy of Webster’s, and in a British dictionary, you might find to pretty different definitions. Can’t do that, you say? Well guess what; now you can!
This week I’m going to tell you about our newest dictionary that we’ve added to our collection here in the Sioux Falls campus library, and yes, it happens to be British. We just received the sixth edition of the “Shorter Oxford English Dictionary” last week. and this two volume, 4000-page wonder is an absolute plethora of really cool information on over 7.5 million words, and includes 500,000 definitions, 97,600 headwords, 25,250 variant spellings, and 87,400 illustrative quotations from over 7,333 sources.
So what does this resource do quietly, really well? The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary is what is called an etymological dictionary; it gives the origins and histories of words, so you can really find our, if you dig deep enough, if the word you’re researching is exactly the word you want. Like our paralegal and criminal justice friends, who frequently quest after precedence of legal cases, you can establish the precedence of the term you want to use. You say you don’t know what precedence means? Now you have the Reference Resources to look it up! Remember- Knowledge is Power!
It’s on display in the library. Come give this title a look, and find out one reason why I never, ever loose at Trivial Pursuit!