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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Vast historical thesaurus unveiled after 40 years in the making

A forty-year project in the making, the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary is the first thesaurus to include the English vocabulary from the era of Old English to the present. Unsurprisingly, it has been hailed with applause, as a masterpiece worth waiting for.

Compiled the Department of English Language of the University of Glasgow, and edited by Christian Kay, Jane Roberts, Irene Wotherspoon and Michael Samuels, the dictionary helps you find synonyms of words no one might have heard or read for centuries.

* At 4448 pages and close to a million words, it is the largest thesaurus in the world

* It is the very first historical thesaurus, anywhere, ever

* Not only does it give the synonym, it also supplies the date of first recorded use -- and of the last recorded use if the word has become obsolete

* It provides a background for obscure Old English words

* A comprehensive index allows for cross-referencing

* It also includes a fold-out color chart, which shows you how the classification system works

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