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Hardcover The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations Book

ISBN: 0198607202

ISBN13: 9780198607205

The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations

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Book Overview

The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations has been long hailed as the most literary quotation book available, and the newest edition is the largest and most comprehensive of its kind. Over 20,000 quotations from every era and every location bring you the wisdom of ages and the sound bites of today. The text is a browser's paradise that allows the reader to identify who said what, and when, and where.
Here readers will find in one volume the wit and...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

********** TEN STARS!

Who said what, when and for what reason? If it's been said, written, shouted, exclaimed or moaned in a breathy sigh, you'll find it recorded here. Three-thousand years worth of quotes from everyone who has ever been anyone: generals, saints, writers, actors, politicians, judges, criminals, heroes, the infamous, the dying, the triumphant, the fictional and the mythical. In this magnficent volume you can search either by an individual name and see all listings for that person, or by subject, and see all recorded passages about whatever topic you wish to investigate. Great for public speakers, students, writers, or lovers of wit, excoriation, or profundity, and absolutely deserving of the word "Encyclopedia" in its title.

Best choice for Brits

The question for most people looking to purchase a book of quotations is whether to get Bartlett's Familiar Quotations or The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations. So perhaps it would be a good idea to compare them and see which might better meet your needs.Both are important works of reference; both are authoritative. Bartlett's latest edition, the 17th is from 2002 while this, the latest Oxford, is from 1999 with a reprint with corrections from 2001. So both are relatively up to date. Bartlett's is a slightly larger book with perhaps 300 more pages; however the number of actual quotations is not that different. Both books quote over 3,000 authors and contain over 20,000 quotations. The most significant difference between them, to my mind, is that in the Oxford, English authors are favored both in terms of number included and entries by, which is to be expected since the Oxford is an British publication while Bartlett's is an American publication. A quick check shows that British mathematician and philosopher Bertram Russell, for example, has more entries in the Oxford than he does in Bartlett's, whereas both Mark Twain and the Baltimore sage, H. L. Mencken, have more entries in Bartlett's than they do in the Oxford. France's Voltaire commands just about the same space in either book.The next most important difference is that the quotations are presented alphabetically by author in the Oxford while Bartlett's presents them chronologically beginning with the oldest. Both sources give author's dates. Personally I find the alphabetical arrangement preferable because it often saves me a trip to the alphabetical "Index of Authors" in Bartlett's that I have to make before finding the author I am interested in. When one is looking for a quote by keyword, which often happens, Bartlett's is slightly to be preferred. Its Index is definitely longer (accounting for most of the difference in length between the books) and it is more extensively cross-referenced. In looking up Marx's "From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs" I found the quote in the Oxford from the keywords "according," "abilities," and "needs." In Bartlett's "according" did not work, but "each," "abilities," and "needs" did. So that was a standoff. However I found the Golden Rule and its source in Bartlett's without any trouble by looking under "Golden Rule" and under "do unto." In the Oxford neither "Golden Rule" nor "do unto" were in the Index of keywords. Both books give Matthew 7:12 as the source.The Oxford has a slightly more international approach to religious texts. There is a little less of the Bible here, but more of the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, the Koran, and other non-Christian texts, except for the Tao Te Ching from Lao Tzu where Bartlett's has 34 entries to 19 for the Oxford.Another feature that the Oxford has that will be handy for some is its "Special Categories" which are "Advertising Slogans" (mostly for products sold in the UK

If it ain't here, it ain't been said!

The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations is absolutely the ultimate reference book of quotations. Pithy, sensitive, ridiculous, literary, outrageous, political - no matter! If someone said it and it was worth recording, The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations recorded it. With 1136 tightly printed pages, this mine of information is an absolute life line as a work of reference, to resolve arguments, or just for the pleasure of seeing what somebody said about somebody else (like one British politician describing another... "He's like a shiver, looking for a spine to run up.")The quotations are arranged alphabetically, by author, so browsing by author is simple. To browse by theme, there is a full thematic index, and also a comprehensive keyword index. It is a cross-referencing masterpiece! Additionally, the reader will find special categories such as advertising slogans, last words, lines from films, epitaphs, misquotes, and much much more.Dictionaries can be fun. A thesaurus can be a treasure. But The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations is an absolute god-send. Your bookshelf is not complete without it.

The Cornerstone of Your Quotations Collection

Far and away the best dictionary of quotations. If you are to buy only one dictionary of quotations, make it this one. An essential resource for the individual, home, and office. Wonderfully varied sources, from the Bible and Koran, from modern times and antiquity, from English and foreign sources. It is very easy to use, intuitive, with succinct and clear instructions. The organization of the dictionary is also simple and straightforward, with alphabetical organization by source/author and major themes. The dictionary portion of the book is also broken up well with boxed special sections, addressing such subjects as advertising slogans, last words, misquotations, sayings and slogans, toasts, etc.The dictionary has a comprehensive (283 pages) keyword index. If you can't find your subject/theme/author/source/concept/first line here, it's not in the book.There is also a very disappointing "Selective Thematic Index." The idea is excellent, but the execution is poor. There are not nearly enough themes (44) offered for this dictionary spanning 841 pages. Furthermore, entries in the selective thematic index and keyword index have not been reconciled. For example, "Administration" in the thematic index yields 17 entries, while the keyword index lists only two.Taken as a book for reading and consumption, it is fascinating, even if a bit dense. There are gems on just about every page, insights into history, people, the sources' thoughts and movitavtions. Spurs to the reader's contemplation abound. Admittedly, slogging through 41 pages of quotations from the Bible, 21 pages of proverbs, or 51 pages of Shakespeare can be daunting. But then you will stumble upon the incredible "We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant" from Austrian-born philosopher Karl Popper (587).I heartily recommend this superb reference and enjoyable read.

Big, authorative, and extremely well laid-out collection

This book used to be one of the largest around, until others came along. Still, the collection of quotations is one of the best of all, especially when you take an interest in English poets and writers. The book is well laid-out, and now contains short descriptions of the authors of quotations. The book's index is also very good, not quite as extrardinary as Bartlett's, but you will be able to find almost any quotation from it. Highly recommended for both the just-interested browser and the serious quotation-seeker.
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