Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Product recommendation: If you're interested in the English language, whether from simple curiosity or from need, then I recommend the computer version of the Oxford English Dictionary, version 4.0 (aka “OED”).  It's listed on Amazon today at $218.50, though I paid considerably less a few months ago when I bought it on sale.

I've been using the OED for many years now.  First I used the enormous printed version found in libraries.  Then I used the one printed in tiny type that comes with a magnifying glass.  Then I used the first computer version (2.0).  The current version beats them all. 

I am addicted to its research capabilities, which are extensive – something you simply can't do with the printed version.  For example, suppose I wanted to know all the English words derived from Estonian words.  I can do that (answer, in 4 seconds: just two words - loaf and rye).  Or suppose I want to know all the words containing “dak” (answer, in 2 seconds: 44 words including didakai, fondak, and pradakshina).

It's a wonderful thing to have this tool on my desktop.  I keep it open all day long...

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