Large Print Reviews
Oxford Large Print Thesaurus
Oxford Large Print Thesaurus
Over 150,000 Alternative and Opposite Words
Oxford University Press, (2004)
Reviewed by Rochelle Caviness - October 27, 2004
The Oxford Large Print Thesaurus is a much anticipated addition to the body of reference works that are available in large print. This new Thesaurus contains more than 150,000 synonyms and antonyms that are organized in alphabetical order. The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is perhaps the most respected and authoritative English language dictionary in existence. The same vigor, research, and breadth of information that is associated with the OED and the other Oxford dictionaries is found in the Oxford Large Print Thesaurus. Unlike the OED, which encompasses some 20 volumes, the Oxford Large Print Thesaurus is a compact, one volume book that is a companion volume to the Oxford Large Print Dictionary.
The Oxford Large Print Thesaurus is based upon the standard print edition of the Oxford Mini Thesaurus. The text is printed on off-white paper that reduces glare. The type itself is dark, sharp, and easy to read. Key words are printed in bold type. Throughout, the text includes generous margins and adequate spacing between words. This book is ideal as for both younger students and for adults who need or prefer to use large print books.
Each entry includes information regarding the main entries 'part of speech' along with labels that indicate any non-standard usages such as informal, technical, poetic, historical, or archaic terms. The main entry is printed in a bold type face that is slightly larger than the font used in the rest of the text. The main synonyms and antonyms in each entry are also printed in bold type, however these words are printed in the same type size as the rest of the text. The following is a sample entry:
worn ADJ 1 = worn out, threadbare, tattered, in tatters, ragged, frayed, shabby, shiny. 2 = haggard, drawn, strained, careworn; [inf] done in, dog-tired, dead on one's feet, fit to drop, played out, bushed; [Brit. inf] knackered; [N. Amer. inf] pooped.
A list of the abbreviations used in the entries can be found at the beginning of the text. In addition, six handy lists are included at the end of the book, including:
In order to keep this book to a manageable size, the entries concentrate primarily on modern English usage and the words that currently comprise the 'core' vocabulary of most English users. Hence, entries that you might find in a more detailed thesaurus, such as heckle, jerry-built, moil, and seminal have been omitted. For most users, the selection of words in this thesaurus will prove sufficient. Writers and advanced students, however, may find the number of entries restrictive. For these users, a writer's or college thesaurus, such as
The Oxford American Writer's Thesaurus or the
Random House Webster's College Thesaurus may prove more useful. Neither, however, is available in large print. While I've not yet seen the The Oxford American Writer's Thesaurus, I have seen the Random House Webster's College Thesaurus and I can attest that while it is an excellent thesaurus, the print is very, very tiny and it contains a lot of italicized text that makes it a very difficult for someone with a visual impairment to use - even with magnification.
- A list of the 'collective names for animals and birds'. For example: a pod, school, herd, or turmoil of porpoises.
- A list 'must know' words for players of word puzzles and games, including a short list of two-letter words, words that contain a q that is not followed by a u, and a few words beginning with x.
- A list of the presents traditionally given on various wedding anniversaries.
- A list of common symbols and punctuation marks.
- A list of the Roman numerals and one listing the phonetic alphabet.
By comparison, the Oxford Large Print Thesaurus was designed especially for use by visually impaired readers. In this regard, the editors incorporated suggestions made by the Royal National Institute of the Blind. The end result is a thesaurus that is easy to use and whose text is clear and easy to read. Despite being over 1,300 pages long, this book is amazinling lightweight. Most important, the quantity and quality of the entries makes this an excellent general purpose thesaurus that will serve the needs of most readers.
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