Friday, February 13, 2009

My Canuck Oxford

Is going to get a lot more use. When I'm at the computer and looking for the exact meaning of a word, I usually just pull up Merriam-Webster's website and find it that way.

Today, I looked up dilletante and got bounced to a page saying that word was only available in their unabridged dictionary, which requires a fee. Now, it doesn't happen for every word. Most of the ones I've gone looking for are still available for free but one wonders how long that will last.

I'm not bothered by it. I understand that these resources need to make a profit somehow and their fee (4.95/month or 29.95/year) is actually quite reasonable, especially when compared to the OED (29.95/month, 295/year). Of course, that's a bit of an apples and oranges argument but still, 300 bucks a year is a bit much. Do that for 3 years and you could have just bought the full 20 volume set.

However, I do have a perfectly good Canuck Oxford holding a place of honour amongst a row of reference books (Audobon guides, Sibley's guide to Birds, Oxford Companion to Music) on my bookshelf. I think from now on, I'll be making the trek to the bedroom to look up words.

I just looked up 'idiot string' on merriam-webster and it offered up nothing. Score one for the Canuck Oxford.


Barbara Bruederlin said...

Idiot string is in your Canuck Oxford? How charming, I need to get myself one of those.

I didn't realise that there was a fee attached to some online dictionaries. I guess I have been using the lesser free ones.

Remi said...

I knew about the Oxford, but the M-W is a bit of a surprise. It still seems mostly free, though.

Daibhin said...

There is something comforting about actually looking a word up in the disctionary and not online.