Entertainment Guide: The Dictionary

While everyone is finding new ways to spend time at home, some turn to books and TV for regular entertainment. However, there is one book that contains everything ever written in books or articulated on TV — the dictionary.

Merriam-Webster’s Pocket Dictionary is a 407-page work containing 40,000 definitions with pronunciations, a punctuation guide, and a list of standard abbreviations.

Noah Webster published his first dictionary in 1828. After Webster’s death, G. & C. Merriam Company purchased the rights to his dictionary. It used the text in their editions.

According to the FAQ page on Merriam-Webster.com, the company changed its name to Merriam-Webster in 1982 to solve a copyright dispute where imitators had been calling their products ‘Webster’ dictionaries.

This book will not contain every possible word, such as countries or people’s names, being a pocket edition. Still, it may provide some surprises for what words are included. One page contained the words ‘OK,’ ‘okra,’ ‘oleander,’ and ‘oleomargarine.’ The Massachusetts-based publisher also wanted readers to know that ‘sox’ is a real way to spell the plural of ‘sock.’

There are several ways to use a dictionary; the most common is to look up one word when encountering it while reading something else. Another way is to choose several uncommon words and learn them together, gradually expanding a person’s vocabulary.

The 2006 pocket edition is printed on good paper that makes it easy to turn pages. The cover has rounded corners to prevent curling. The text is a good size that is not too small to read but does not make the page cluttered or empty. Even in a digital age, this book holds up for casual research.

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