It’s quite compact

Being a bit of a word lover I was over the moon to find the Compact edition of the Oxford English Dictionary in a charity shop for £10, a hardback book about the size and thickness of two encylopedia Britanicas glued together. The colleague I was with was rendered incredulous by the word ‘compact’ on such a large volume. “Compact,” he said, “Compact!” “There is nothing compact about that!
I then opened it to show him what the compact referred to. It is the ENTIRE and complete (at the time of publishing) English vocabulary in one book. The print is hence somewhat compacted …… it comes with a magnifying glass.
compact page.jpg
Scrabble nemesi beware 🙂

4 Replies to “It’s quite compact”

  1. I have a Compact Oxford Dictionary at home, I would say it is an Eighties edition, it is in two volumes and has a case with a drawer for said magnifying glass.
    I inherited it from my grandparents and have (literally) heaved it around with me ever since and I have to say it is a treasure trove of information about words, their origins, pronounciation and so on. It’s just that it takes ages to find the word you are looking for – even with the magnifying glass!

  2. As if you need a dictionary to be a scrabble demon – time not on my side in scrabble playing terms at the mo.
    I remember fondly sitting in the dictionaries section of the library amidst the MANY VOLUMES of dictionaries for Latin, English et al… *sigh*

  3. Talking of words….’ Naming The Elephant’ seems an interesting read…. although clearly the answer is ‘Dumbo’…having discovered the answer.. am I wasting my time reading the book?

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