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This dictionary has heaviosity.

Heaviosity, impactful, retro-futurist, manbag, carbon-neutral, goody bag, blogroll, Foggy Bottom, splitsville, and smoosh are among the 2,500 new words (and their meanings) added to the Sixth Edition Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, which is a two-volume compendium of the full 20-volume Oxford English Dictionary. It attempts to include every word that has been in general use since 1700 right up to the present day. Words that were obsolete before 1700 are included if they appear in the writings of John Milton, Geoffrey Chaucer, William Shakespeare, or the Bible. (In all, there are 83,500 quotations from 7,000 different authors.)

Actually, the full title of the book is The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary on Historical Principles, which means that, as well as being fully up-to-date in its coverage of current English, it deals with the development and former uses of words. Each entry shows the date when the word first was recorded, and meanings are arranged chronologically, in the order in which they first were used in English.

The most impressive innovation, though, just may be the CD-ROM that comes with the dictionary. Designed to run on Mac or Windows, it has a fully customizable interface that offers users a wide range of advanced search options and unique features: enable/ disable case-sensitive searching; limit searches by the date of a word's first recorded use; search definitions, etymologies, subject, geographical region, or source language; listen to pronunciations for more than 100,000 words; cross-reference any words in the dictionary with a single mouse click; install the dictionary to the hard disk and run it without the CD-ROM; and crossword puzzle and anagram solvers.

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As for new words, phrases, and definitions, well ...

* Foodies will find updated definitions for secret sauce, bear claw, fagioli, semifreddo, cremini, Charmat, and acai.

* A supervillain might make a straw purchase, pap a celebrity, surf the darknet, or become a testosteronic knuckle-dragger. * You might enjoy a webinar, or it might give you a thousand-yard stare.

* A hoopster is not the only person who can have skin in the game.

* Scientists tell us that restless leg syndrome probably cannot cross the species barrier from the extinct giganotosaurus.

* You can dance at the baile but not at the racino.

* Put a photo in your brag book of the nollie you did.

* Enjoy the new Afrobeat or lovers' rock played with a humbucker while you pimp your bump-out.

* In other words, you can get your ya-yas out, enjoy the wow factor, become a scene maker, and bat a thousand when you use this two-volume reference.

Oh, we almost forgot: the longest word in the dictionary is pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis--meaning "a lung disease caused by inhaling very fine ash and sand dust." Try spelling that after downing a couple of saketinis (a cocktail resembling a martini in which sake is substituted for vermouth).

Visit www.oup.com/us for more details.
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Title Annotation:What's New?
Publication:USA Today (Magazine)
Article Type:Book review
Date:Mar 1, 2008
Words:479
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