Subject: Dictionaries
From: "Michael K. Christie" <72072 -dot- 2454 -at- COMPUSERVE -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 27 Jan 1994 21:09:28 EST

Re: LaVonna Funkhouser's comments on the American Heritage dictionary:

Please, don't say YUK! What edition are you loking at?

The original, published in 1969 was great. The second edition, from about 1986
was basically worthless, but the third edition, published in 1992, it a writer's
(technical or otherwise) dream!
Far from being too liberal, it actually provides guides as to the correctness of
usage while Webster's ?th New Collegiate (there's a Tenth out now) basically
documents it if it exists, good usage or not. AHD uses "Status Labels" -
Non-standard, Usage Problem, Informal, (most useful!) as well as Slang, Vulgar,
and Obsene. It also offers Usage Notes, which discuss how certain words are used
(or misused), word histories, synonyms, and regional notes.

If you have a question about whether or not to use a word, AHD gives you lots of
guidance and allows you to make up your own mind. It's a wonderful piece of
lexicographical work. Do give it a chance.

Mike Christie
Technical Writer
Syntelligence Systems, Inc.

mikec -at- syntel -dot- com -or-
72072 -dot- 2454 -at- compuserve -dot- com

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