Featured Linguist!

Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

Donate Now | Visit the Fund Drive Homepage

Amount Raised:


Still Needed:


Can anyone overtake Syntax in the Subfield Challenge ?

Grad School Challenge Leader: University of Washington

Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info

Ask-A-Linguist Message Details

Subject: Review of American Dictionaries
Question: I have read many reviews of American dictionaries by non-experts,
but do you know of any by experts? I am trying to answer the
question: are all American dictionaries equally good, or do
professional linguists consider one of them to be the best? In
other words, does it really matter which dictionary you use? (I am
an editor, and dictionaries are crucial for settling editing

Reply: I like the Oxford English Dictionary. It has notes for American lexica and usage as well. I would supplement with Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary. This will give you the American pronunciations (more or less) as well as some additional American-specific definitions. For entries accompanying illustrations, I would go anywhere except American Heritage. It's just not good enough for this intention.
Reply From: Charley Rowe      click here to access email
Date: 01-Apr-2013
Other Replies:
  1. Re: Review of American Dictionaries    John M. Lawler     (01-Apr-2013)
  2. Re: Review of American Dictionaries    James L Fidelholtz     (01-Apr-2013)
  3. Re: Review of American Dictionaries    Susan D Fischer     (01-Apr-2013)

Back to Most Recent Questions