Monday, 30 August 2010

Preferred Dictionary

There was an old dictionary which we had had for many years. I think it originally belonged to my grandparents and dated back to the 1930s. It was entitled Nuttall's Standard Dictionary Of The English Language, and continued "based on the labours of the most eminent lexicographers" etc.

I found it the most excellent reference book, because it also included pronunciations, derivations, useful information and more besides. The old dictionary been showing its age and was increasingly held together by masking tape. There were loose pages, too; and it was dog-eared.

On Ebay, I noticed a 1964 version of Nuttall's for sale and decided I wanted it. It hasn't been published for twenty-five years or so and the publisher, Frederick Warne, has been taken over by Penguin.

I took a chance and offered the princely sum of ten pence; postage was six pounds due to the weight.

I won the bid! It's in great order for its age; much better than our older one. It's got thumb-marks at the edges for easy reference too.

Nuttall's is particularly useful to those - viz. Timothy Belmont - with a tendency towards pedantry!

Here is an example: the entry for the adjective Heinous:-

heinous, a. hay-nus, characterized by great wickedness; hateful; atrocious. (Fr. haineux.)

Note its pronunciation. Many today pronounce it as in hee rather than hay!

Last Published in September, 2009.

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