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19 June 2010 @ 02:38 am
OEDear ...  
I accidentally attended a book sale today, but was very restrained and only purchased language books that I actually need for my appalling French and Italian, and a couple of history tomes, which are educational.

However, they had a Compact Oxford English Dictionary, which is basically the full OED printed in TINY print, sold with a magnifying glass, for AUD$795.

I have been without an OED in the house for far too many years, and even though I think that some of its rulings are stupid, I miss it (and it is vastly less stupid than the Macquarie). I remember looking up words and then lingering over the references, or my read the whole thing phase (I am excellent on A-F! But then I discovered boys.) It would be a delight and a joy to own a copy again.

But still, that is a lot of money, even if I would receive $79 back in loyalty dollars from the bookshop. It's money that would be better spent on rent, or flights, or Oxfam ... And let us not speak of the shelf space (which is worse than I thought, a friend just returned a bagful of books!)

The full edition is £750, but I have never seen it here for less than AUD$2000, and postage from the UK would be ghastly. Online subscription is a prohibitive £205 per annum, which is ridiculous. But I can obviously live without it. I can talk myself into and out of this purchase, so, if you have a moment:

Poll #1580212 Brammers and the OED

Should Brammers buy the OED?

Yes, your vocabulary is appalling and your spelling at times questionable.
Yes, it will make you happy.
No, it's far too much money.
No, where will you put it?
The world in this state and you ask questions like THIS?
We all know you're knitting rather than writing!
And lil, thank you for your comment! I had to delete and start again because the poll was not working for me, hope it does this time!
OkyDokyokydoky on June 18th, 2010 04:49 pm (UTC)
I vote yes, because one day, I will have a copy too :) and I can't be the only person I know to own one!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 19th, 2010 04:33 pm (UTC)
I have owned one in the past, but could not schlep it across continents, so it now lives with my nice cousin :-)
Anwynanthraxia on June 20th, 2010 01:12 am (UTC)
Buy it. I inherited my mother's copy - it may be 35 years old and thus lacking lots of new words (like microwave) but it's still fabulous to have around. Not only for the lit. cred.
(Deleted comment)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 19th, 2010 04:35 pm (UTC)
Re: I laughed out loud at the first sentence of this post
It happens!

And your husband is classy, good choice! I think that you are right. Up to $300 it would be no question, to $500, I would hesitate, but still probably go there, but at nearly $800 ... Yeah.
Leochileochi on June 18th, 2010 05:46 pm (UTC)
One never can have enough dictionaries or encyclopedias. ;)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 19th, 2010 04:36 pm (UTC)
I have four dictionaries in English already ... three of them written within the last century, one within the last decade :-) I should be sensible and hold off.
Leochileochi on June 19th, 2010 04:44 pm (UTC)
*grins* I definitely beat you. ;D (But I've got a valid excuse, I've studied translation "centuries" ago.)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 19th, 2010 04:58 pm (UTC)
I have far more French and Italian dictionaries, for similar reasons ;-)
Leochileochi on June 19th, 2010 05:02 pm (UTC)
Vive la France and Viva Italia! ;D Und natürlich auch Es lebe Österreich, Deutschland und die Schweiz. ;DDD
she had the face of an angel & the body of a devil: [stock] lemon eyesnuclearsugars on June 18th, 2010 06:06 pm (UTC)
Welllll, I have a subscription to the OED through my uni if you don't end up purchasing it. *shifty eyes*
blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 19th, 2010 04:36 pm (UTC)
You are quite the love!
(Anonymous) on June 18th, 2010 06:17 pm (UTC)
Whether you buy it or not, you can always check this out: goldendict English (http://thepiratebay.org/torrent/5205813/Goldendict_dictionary_interface_and_english_dictionaries)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 19th, 2010 04:36 pm (UTC)
Oh you shameless enabler ;-)
inamacinamac on June 18th, 2010 06:40 pm (UTC)
My local library allows users to log on to their subscription copy using their library ID - you might try that as a first option before heading for the bookshop.

ETA That's log in to the OED from my home computer - I don't have to go to the library.

Edited at 2010-06-18 08:39 pm (UTC)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 19th, 2010 04:40 pm (UTC)
I should see if I have access through the uni I sometimes teach at ... but I am there so rarely these days, I keep forgetting I can still wrangle the odd academic privilege!
shadowclubshadowclub on June 18th, 2010 06:46 pm (UTC)
Haha, I was confused by the date on this entry as you are writing this entry from the future (which admittedly makes sense with the time different, but I am rather tired today...).

That is a lot of money for the dictionary, but if it's something that'll make you happy and be useful you should get it... Or just continue to depend on the internet:)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 19th, 2010 04:41 pm (UTC)
My friend in North Carolina often emails me asking for details of tomorrow, and refers to me as her friend from the future ;-)
Ali: Sendhil smilingalicambs on June 18th, 2010 07:11 pm (UTC)
How do you 'accidently' attend a book sale? :-)
shu_shu_sleepsshu_shu_sleeps on June 18th, 2010 10:27 pm (UTC)
Happens all the time, book sellers are notoriously dangerous types who set out to trap the unwary buyer into spending lots of money on important things that spread literacy and good grammar around the world. I'm sure there's a rabid politician out there something who thinks it should be stopped:)
Ali: smilealicambs on June 18th, 2010 10:48 pm (UTC)
I'll remember that for the next time that hubby whinges when I head for a book shop. :-)
Anwynanthraxia on June 20th, 2010 01:15 am (UTC)
I have this theory that bibliophiles are implanted with some kind of magnetic device in early childhood that bookshops are able to use to pull us into the store. It's the only way I can explain the involuntary change in direction when I try to walk past a bookshop.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 19th, 2010 04:42 pm (UTC)
It was up the road from the wool sale ;-)

(In truth, I was walking back from the knitting shop when I saw a sign saying 'member only sale', at which point, I realised I was in fact a member of that bookshop!)
Annika: DrWho - 9Rose boneheadsiria on June 18th, 2010 08:35 pm (UTC)
Oh god, I'm such a cheat. First I voted yes, because DICTIONARIES are obviously the best thing since, since, since something very, very fabulous!!

But then I figured that really, you could buy a whole lot of different dictionaries in all sorts of languages for that kind of money, and so I'm torn. SORRY but you don't want my advice anyway, because I'm horrid with money to begin with - I spend it all on silly things, like coffee, books, dentists and food and then wonder where it went. Much better to buy something you'll genuinely love. Like, that fantastic Dictionary (when it comes to English dictionaries, I only have a couple of different one-volume New Oxford dictionaries, nothing spectacular - BUT MY ENGLISH COULD BE BETTER, so this is totally an argument in favour of buying MORE dictionaries, come to think of it, damnit) or a pony.

Mind you, that whole last sentence was a good demonstration of 'reasons to buy better dictionaries'. :)
goddessrissgoddessriss on June 18th, 2010 09:10 pm (UTC)
I know you're knitting.

I find dictionaries endlessly fascinating. I recently bought a nice, compact one for my 13 year old niece who, I'm sure, thinks her biro comes with a built-in spell-checker. She may or may not use it, but at least she has it. Lord knows, she needs it! Youth of today, eh?

My own copy of the compact OED is fairly old and was purchased from a the local hospice charity shop for a fiver (in the days before they got wise to the book collecting market. I still remember finding those hardback Chalet School books for 75p each!). I love it.
wemyss: CofETorywemyss on June 18th, 2010 09:22 pm (UTC)
I still say, Buy it, but, then, I would do, wouldn’t I. What’s a 1st edition of Dr Johnson’s Dictionary selling at these days, £400 or so?
shu_shu_sleepsshu_shu_sleeps on June 18th, 2010 10:23 pm (UTC)
Even though I chose to make a comment on the state of the world in this poll (there was no option that said of course you should get it and don't forget to claim it as a tax deduction!), I think you should get it - after all, its the OED! I think it belongs on your book shelf or I could look after it for you (and congratulations on being so restrained with your other purchases), and if you really need a reason - well if you had a copy then I could come visit it :) because frankly the Macquarie is driving me NUTS! And reading through this reply you can see how badly I need the guidance of the OED!
auntpurl: I love booksauntpurl on June 18th, 2010 10:42 pm (UTC)
You make your living and derive much of your pleasure in life from words, and you're asking whether you should spend money on something that is so eminently worth it? Woman, PLEASE.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 19th, 2010 04:32 pm (UTC)
But that amount of money is also four or five courses of Italian depending on where I study! Or about 40 novels! And I do own several other dictionaries ... I should hold off until I have a larger house. (And then buy the big version ;-))
auntpurl: fuck google ask meauntpurl on June 19th, 2010 06:09 pm (UTC)
Oh well, sure, fair enough. I was just enabling you, really. :D
Brissygirlbrissygirl on June 18th, 2010 11:34 pm (UTC)
Almost $800 for a book is pretty steep! Even if you can claim it on your tax or get some money back or whatever. Me, I still have my dictionary and thesaurus that I had for school. I don't use them, they just sit on the shelf gathering dust.

If you buy it I'm sure you'll find somewhere to put it even if it's on the floor besides your bed. :D

If the book is 'compact' why the hell is it $795? *shakes head in dismay*
blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 19th, 2010 04:28 pm (UTC)
It's FULL of information! And it's compact is not very compact, about 1.5 reams of A3 paper IIRC. However, you're right. While I have the money to throw around, it would be better spent on savings ;-)

And I already have four English dictionaries (well, one complete Macquarie, which is Australian I suppose), plus big Italian and French ones, and small Italian, French, Latin, Welsh, Old English, Anglo Saxon, Estonian, Gaelic and Spanish ones. I should probably spend the money on Italian courses instead!
maevemistmaevemist on June 19th, 2010 01:42 am (UTC)
I said no it is far to much money but you know what? I really mean... Go now before you regret it!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 19th, 2010 04:25 pm (UTC)
It IS too much money, though. $300 I would have bought it in a flash!
bare_memabonwitch on June 19th, 2010 04:27 am (UTC)
Clearly you should own this dictionary! However, I think instead of getting it at the book sale, you should use your wily international travel network to get it from the U.K. to you. Because, really, what use is an international network of slahsers if they can't occasionally come through with a dictionary?
blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 19th, 2010 04:24 pm (UTC)
It's SO heavy, it would take up a sizable amount of luggage space. But you are right, I should at least consider the whole trek back from UK with one possibility. Alas, it involves luring people here so they can have it in their less-full outward bound luggage, and no bastard ever comes to visit me!
glorafinglorafin on June 19th, 2010 02:07 pm (UTC)
Now that's a neat thing to possess. I had no idea that such a dictionary existed in English. I wish it was (were?) possible to browse some pages online, just to have an idea of how long I'll be able to resist its lure. :/
blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 19th, 2010 04:23 pm (UTC)
It's basically nine pages of the original, squished and tiled onto one large page (pretty much A3 sized).

I nearly bought one when I first moved to Aus, but I was not staying. It was only $200, damnation! Now I am wondering if I perhaps should not buy the CD-ROM version as it will take up less space and is cheaper ...
glorafinglorafin on June 19th, 2010 05:32 pm (UTC)
I'm a bit old-fashioned. I don't like CD-ROMs. Nothing will ever replace for me the pleasure of browsing through the pages of a book. No hard disk crashing, no windows freezing.. Just plain old paper and leather... Yummy. :)

Still, I hadn't looked properly at the price it was sold for, which is indeed insane. You can buy it new for much less than that on Amazon for instance.


And it looks like at first view that the shipping costs aren't that outrageous either.
glorafinglorafin on June 20th, 2010 04:29 pm (UTC)
And it looks like at first view that the shipping costs aren't that outrageous either.

Jesus.... I really need that dictionary. :/
prone to mischief: Macaroonstreacle_tartlet on June 19th, 2010 03:42 pm (UTC)
I just ticked the least helpful combination of boxes imaginable, hurrah! It will make you happy, but where would you put it? Perhaps you could keep it on the other side of your bed, and make Mr B sleep on the couch? The OED probably snores less...
blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 19th, 2010 04:19 pm (UTC)

And why are you not in bed, young lady?

I'm just home from Newcastle *Snore!*

Yeah, I am thinking that I should hold out until I live in a house that will actually fit it. As things are, all my oversized books shelves are crowded beyond sanity. And it would be madness to own it and not have it kept somewhere accessible ...
prone to mischief: Macaroonstreacle_tartlet on June 19th, 2010 04:58 pm (UTC)
This is my Brammers icon, and I am not in bed because I fell asleep on the couch earlier and am not in the least bit tired now. I will regret it bitterly when SG gets up at 6am.
And while we're on the topic of language books, if you happen across an English/Welsh Welsh/English dictionary, or another Welsh language book that would be useful for someone learning the rudiments of the language, could you nab them for me (I will repay you in money or macaroons, your choice)? They are astonishingly (actually, it's not that astonishing, is it?) difficult to find down here.

Edited at 2010-06-19 04:59 pm (UTC)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 19th, 2010 05:04 pm (UTC)
I can lend you mine! I also have Middle Welsh (don't ask) if you're keen!
prone to mischief: NMTB Bunny!Simontreacle_tartlet on June 19th, 2010 05:10 pm (UTC)
I think I'll start with modern Welsh, because I have a friend who speaks it and who can therefore help me with pronunciation! It would be most excellent if I could borrow yours, my dear (I will hide them from the depredations of SG, who is going through an unfortunate 'scribbling in books with crayons' phase D:)
And in the interests of showing off more of the icons I have recently wasted an appalling amount of time collecting, here is Simon Amstell in a bunny suit.
&helena;uminohikari on June 19th, 2010 11:30 pm (UTC)
Clearly, the solution is to lure a friend from the UK to visit you and bring one.