1. pensmightierthanthesword

    pensmightierthanthesword Member

    Jan 25, 2017
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    Does Oxford Make an English Thesaurus?

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by pensmightierthanthesword, Feb 25, 2017.

    I wanted to buy an Oxford English Dictionary/Thesaurus combo and an Oxford American Dictionary/Thesaurus or a Webster's Dictionary/Thesaurus combo. I didn't want to spend too much money on books but I'd like to have a print guide of both American terms and English terms. Do both English and American dictionaries vary? Does one dictionary have different terms? Can someone help me decide? I know I can look words up on the Internet but I like to keep off of the Internet as much as possible when I'm writing.

    Edit: I notice I can't find an Oxford English Thesaurus but Oxford makes an American Thesaurus. Webster makes a Dictionary/Thesaurus combo but I've heard Oxford is more credible of a dictionary than Oxford. I'm not sure which one to choose.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2017
  2. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

    Mar 7, 2013
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    In essence, Webster's is an American dictionary, while Oxford is an English (British) one. I have both, because, while I now live in Scotland, my novel is written in my native American ...so I need both. (They may well produce cross-Pond editions. I wouldn't know about that.)

    I don't know if Oxford or Webster's produce a Thesaurus or not either—they are primarily dictionaries.

    For my British thesaurus needs, I use both the British version of Penguin Roget's Thesaurus (edited by Betty Kirkpatrick) and the Collins Paperback Thesaurus, created by Collins Dictionaries, updated by the University of Birmingham. Both of these are printed in the UK and use British spellings and meanings. The Collins is quicker to use, because it's set up like a dictionary, but it's not as complete as the old-fashioned index-based Roget's. The Roget's is considered THE thesaurus to go for. It is the best for offering related ideas, not just synonyms.

    I also use a copy of Signet's The New American Roget's College Thesaurus in Dictionary Form, which doesn't use an index for reference like the Penguin version does. If I am struggling with an Americanism, this is my go-to thesaurus. However, for most of my needs, the British ones work just fine. The main difference between classic American and British English is the spelling, not the meaning of words. (Slang is a different story!)

    There is no need to spend a fortune on any of these. Just buy a paperback. They will each cost you less than ten dollars. This means you can update your copy at a later date without breaking the bank or feeling guilty.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2017

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