The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations

24.01.09 | Xurshid


<b>The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations</b>
Author: Elizabeth Knowles
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 2004
ISBN: 0198607202
Number of pages: 1769
Format / Quality: PDF
Size: 7,2 Mb / 1,64 Mb
Language: English

The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations is as impressive, erudite, enjoyable, and educational a tome as you might expect from Oxford. It's the sort of undertaking the press does very well. The first such dictionary, as compiled by Oxford, was published in 1953, and it's been tweaking, modifying, and updating it ever since. This new edition, the fifth, offers well over 20,000 quotations from more than 3,000 authors. Responding to correspondence from their readers, Oxford has restored some material from past editions, such as the proverbs and nursery-rhymes section. There's a much more inclusive attention to sacred texts of world religions, and 2,000 quotations are brand new.

The quotations are arranged alphabetically, by author, so browsing provides insight into the authors quoted, more so than do compendiums that are organize by theme. There is also, however, a full thematic index, starting with Administration, Age, and America, and running the alphabetical gamut through to War, Weather, and Youth. And that is followed by a 283-page comprehensive keyword index. If you needed to fault Oxford with something, it might be the small print, but it certainly wouldn't be the thoroughness or cross-referenceability.

There's Kingsley Amis on hangovers ("His mouth had been used as a latrine by some small creature of the night, and then as its mausoleum") and the sexes ("Women are really much nicer than men. No wonder we like them"). There's Woody Allen on immortality ("I don't want to achieve immortality through my work--I want to achieve it through not dying") and Fred Allen on committees ("A group of men who individually can do nothing but as a group decide that nothing can be done"). Spiro T. Agnew is on record as saying, "If you've seen one city slum you've seen them all." And Konrad Adenauer weighs in with "A thick skin is a gift from God."

There are pages of special categories, such as one of advertising slogans ("Let your fingers do the walking," "It's finger-licking good," and "Beanz meanz Heinz") and three pages of last words ("God will pardon me, it is His trade," from Heinrich Heine; "If this is dying, then I don't think much of it," by Lytton Strachey; and "It's been so long since I've had champagne," by Anton Chekhov). And there are pages of film lines, misquotations, epitaphs, telegrams, and toasts, too. Oxford's Dictionary of Quotations is a wonderfully reliable and inclusive quotation reference, and it's a lot of fun, as well. --Stephanie Gold

Grade 7 Up. This revised edition is based on the 1979 edition and The Oxford Dictionary of Modern Quotations (1991). It contains 17,500 quotations from 2500 authors, including more non-English writers, thinkers, and public figures than previous Oxford collections, and provides more substantial representation of American figures, more quotes from non-literary fields, and revisits the lyrics of hymns and songs, which were purged from the 1979 edition. Despite all of this, the focus is strongly British, e.g., 10 pages devoted to Samuel Johnson, 171 to Shakespeare, while Robert Frost and Emily Dickinson get about a page each, and that wonderful quotable Cervantes, less than a page. Entries are arranged alphabetically by name, and include dates and a brief identification whenever possible. The print is small, but the typeface and layout are attractive and easy to use. There are features not usually found in such dictionaries, such as the inclusion of some excerpts from secondary sources about the author of a quote, and, in those cases in which the quotation was not originally written in English, presentation is in the original language followed by a translation. Brief appendixes touch on "Sayings of the 90s," "Popular Misquotations," and slogans. The Oxford's closest contender may be the 16th edition of Bartlett's Familiar Quotations (Little, Brown, 1992), that is very similar in scope (20,000 quotations representing 2550 authors) but appears to have more cultural breadth. The Oxford is recommended for libraries that have a demand for quotations, particularly those of British origin.?Tess McKellen, Packer Collegiate Institute, Brooklyn
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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