Any wealthy dopers are free to purchase for me a Compact OED

Just letting you know. Amazon is listing it for $268.60, a not unreasonable sum—if you’re wealthy.

I would really appreciate it. Go ahead and send me an email if you want to drop the coinage on a random stranger for a desire that is considerably less important than life-saving. (I think that last sentence makes obvious the reason why I was never any good at retail sales.)


js_a compact OED would be great_africanus

Feh! I’ll get me a good 'murrican dictionary. Costco has the unabridged Websters a hell of a lot cheaper. is free.

Yeah, I love my OED. You can buy it for $95.00, which is not too bad. I got mine for $20 through the Duluth classifieds. The guy who sold it lived above a bar and smelled like beer.

I’m confused by that site. It says volumes I-IV and then volume 3, gives a date of '87 while the items offered are '71 or '87, while the Amazon new one is '91. Do the '87 & '91 versions just have updates to the major overhaul of the OED that happened earlier?

(And why is Webster’s Unabridged one volume while the OED full size is 20 volumes?)

The one I have is called the “Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary”, and comes in a box of two volumes with a magnifying lens to read the microscript. It was first published in 1971; the one I have is the 26th printing, 1987. As I remember, the Book-of-the-Month Club offered them for less than $100 in exchange for a new membership. The full-size OED is 20 volumes, and costs lots o’ money.

$20 AND it smelled like beer? You lucked out there!