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Toronto, Copp Clark Pitman, c1984. 394pp, paper, $10.00, ISBN 0-7730-1093-9. CIP

Grades 5 and up
Reviewed by Jo-Anne Naslund

Volume 13 Number 2
1985 March

Originally titled Everyday American English Dictionary and partially based upon Chamber's First Learners' Dictionary, this simplified dictionary is intended for beginning and intermediate English language learners. Some 5,000 words most frequently used in daily life are included.

The definitions are written using the controlled vocabulary of the dictionary. Each entry gives spelling, pronunciation (in the International Phonetic Alphabet), part of speech and meaning. Example sentences accompany difficult definitions. Separate entries appear for irregular verbs, pronouns, prepositions and contractions. A Table of Irregular Verbs precedes the main entries. Other features include Simple Rules to the Plural of Nouns, Common Abbreviations, Nationality Words, Common Prefixes and Suffixes, a Map of Canada, Metric System, Special Calendar Days, Governors of Canada Since Champlain, Canadian Prime Ministers Since Confederation, and Facts About the Provinces.

Although this large format paperback, with its bold, clear typeface and layout, is attractive, it has many shortcomings that must be noted. Illustrations, especially important in reinforcing definitions, are not used. Example sentences are given, but many more are required, particularly to assist those making an effort to speak and write English well.

The number of words listed is limited. Compared to the Collins English Learner's Dictionary, the following words, which were designated as frequently used in current English, have not been included: adult, advantage, advice, advise, ago, approve, as, basic, being and bet. Video disk and videotape appear, but diskette and videocassette do not. Slang and profanity are excluded.

As it purports to be a Canadian English dictionary, British spellings are used for colour, behaviour, catalogue and theatre. However, alternate spellings should have been indicated. Words such as reindeer, oak, eagle, Marines and Amerindian are listed, while caribou, maple, beaver, kayak and snowmobile are not. Hockey is defined as "a game where you try to hit a ball into the goal with a long stick curved at one end." (p.157) Certainly, field hockey is played with a ball, but is this Canada's national sport?

Generally, this is a mediocre dictionary. It definitely will not overwhelm the user, and it is not "the most effective simplified dictionary for English language learners."

Jo-Anne Naslund, Faculty of Education, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C.
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