Books: Lexicon

THE SHORTER OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY—Prepared by W. Little; edited by C. T. Onions & Staff of Oxford English Dictionary, with co-operation of H. W. Fowler—Oxford (2 vols., $18).

Every lexicon but youth's is bright enough to include such words as "fail," but not every dictionary is first-rate. The appearance of a first-rate dictionary is a newsworthy event in literary history. Since Nathan Bailey's Dictionarium Britannicum (1721), these events can almost be counted on the fingers of one hand.* Though every dictionary is more of a Who's Who of words than a supreme court...

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