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Oxford American Large Print Dictionary

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Oxford American Large Print Dictionary

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Oxford American Large Print Dictionary
with More than 90,000 Entries and Definitions
Oxford University Press, 2006
ISBN: 0-19-530078-5
Genre: Reference

Reviewed by Auggie Moore - April 28, 2006

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) has long been the premier English language dictionary in existence. However, weighing in at 20-volumes, this dictionary is usually only found in libraries. More important, for visually impaired readers, the OED is printed in a small font size. There is, however, an alternative available. While not as comprehensive as the OED, the Oxford American Large Print Dictionary is a practical alternative for most users who need, or desire, a large print dictionary.

The Oxford American Large Print Dictionary contains more than 90,000 entries and definitions and it is based upon the Oxford English MiniDictionary, 2004. In addition, the Oxford American Large Print Dictionary has a corresponding companion volume in the form of Oxford American Large Print Thesaurus. Both of these books were produced in cooperation with Lighthouse International, who provided assistance in the style and layout of the books, in order to make them more accessible to visually impaired readers. In addition, a portion of the sales from both of these books is being donated to Lighthouse International, a leading authority in the field of helping individuals dealing with vision loss.

Most of the main entries in the Oxford American Large Print Dictionary are followed by details on how the word is pronounced. You will also find a pronunciation key at the beginning of the book that will help you to use the pronunciations given. For example, the word margin is pronounced /'märjin/. In addition, the part of speech for each main entry is also noted. The variants of each main entry are also shown if they are irregular or in those cases when questions might arise as to the spelling of plural and alternative forms. For example variants of sultry are -trier, -triest and alternative forms are sultrily (adverb) and sultriness (noun).

The definitions offered in this dictionary are concise and to the point. The entries cover the core words related to American English, along with thousands of literary and non-basic words not found in other large print or mini dictionaries. While this dictionary may not meet the academic needs of college students, it is an excellent dictionary for general usage and for younger students. In addition, this dictionary also includes a Language Guide that offers spelling advice along with a list of commonly misspelled words, a section on commonly confused words, and usage notes. As well, a list of abbreviations used throughout this dictionary is located toward the beginning of the book.

The text is printed on paper that is designed to minimize glare and to minimize the background shadows produced by the text from one page being visible on the previous page. As well, the type face in this dictionary is large and clear, and the words are well spaced so that each word is distinctive. Main entries are printed in a large bold type face that appears to be about a 17-point font. Subentries are also in bold print, but are printed with a slightly smaller type face in order to distinguish them from the main entry. The definitions, themselves, are in a dark, but non-bold type face and are in about a 16-point font size. The text is arranged with two columns of entries on each page with a vertical line dividing the two columns. As well, the bindery work is solid, and looks as if it will hold up well under heavy use. This dictionary should be very long lasting, both in regard to its physical life, and for its usefulness as a dictionary. When combined with the Oxford American Large Print Thesaurus, the Oxford American Large Print Dictionary makes a great desk set and a perfect general reference set for home, school, and office use.

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