Saturday, 4 June 2016

Dictionaries and English usage

Am I taking my English language too seriously? In the last few days, I had been bothered about the use of full stops in abbreviated words and I really needed some help to clarify this matter. I remembered that I do have some dictionaries, thesauruses and books on grammar in various places around the house and I set out to search for them. And this was what I found:

  • A copy of Advanced Learner's English Dictionary, from the COBUILD series
  • A copy of BBC English Dictionary
  • A copy of Essential Dictionary, from the COBUILD series
  • A copy of Longman Pronunciation Dictionary, by J.C. Wells
  • A copy of English Grammar, from the COBUILD series
  • A copy of 2,000 Essential English Verbs
  • A copy of Mastering Spoken English & Communication Skills
  • Two copies of Fowler's Modern English Usage, second edition, revised by Sir Ernest Gowers
  • A copy of Current English Usage, by Frederick T. Wood
This set of books do not include my father's copy of the Chambers' Twentieth Century Dictionary. It's still somewhere in the storeroom. I really loved that dictionary. It had kept me occupied during my youth when I really needed help with a lot of words. Plus, there are two or three copies of Roget's Thesaurus in the storeroom. I should dig them out too.

Why I have two copies of Fowler's Modern English Usage, I have no idea. I was pretty surprised to see them myself. This title, together with Current English Usage, were my most commonly used companion reference books in the 1970s and 1980s. I'm glad they are still very useful to me. And yes, I've the answer already to that perplexing question of using full stops in abbreviations....

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