The Canadian Oxford Dictionary

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Former Editor-In-Chief of the Canadian Oxford Dictionary Katherine Barber, Katherine Barber
Oxford University Press, 1998 - Medical - 1707 pages
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We all use Canadian English every day: when we order a pizza "all-dressed", hope to get a "seat-sale" to go south during "March break", or "book off" work to meet with a "CGA" to discuss "RRSPs". Language embodies our nation''s identity, and The Canadian Oxford Dictionary, in its 1,728 pages,covers all aspects of Canadian life. Never before have Canadians been able to see their language, and themselves, so accurately and comprehensively described in a dictionary. The loggers of the west coast, the wheat farmers of the Prairies, the fishermen of the Atlantic provinces, the trappers ofthe North; Canada''s Aboriginal peoples, its British and French settlers, and the more recent arrivals, whether they came from Ukraine, Italy, South Asia or elsewhere - all have contributed to making Canadian English unique, and the dictionary thus reflects the great sweep of Canadian life. Itcontains over 2,000 distinctly Canadian words and meanings, more than any other Canadian dictionary, covering every region of the country. Whether you call your favorite doughnut a jambuster, a bismark, a Burlington bun, or the more prosaic jelly doughnut may depend on where you live in Canada, butthey will all be found in The Canadian Oxford Dictionary. Of course, this is not just a dictionary of Canadian words: its 130,000 entries combine in one reference book information on English as it is used worldwide and as it is used particularly in Canada. Definitions, worded for ease ofcomprehension, are presented so the meaning most familiar to Canadians appears first and foremost. Each of these entries is exceptionally reliable, the result of thorough research into the language and Oxford''s unparalleled language resources. Five professionally trained lexicographers spent fiveyears examining databases containing over 20 million words of Canadian text from more than 8,000 Canadian sources of an astonishing diversity. Inuit Art Quarterly, The Fiddlehead, Canadian Business, and Equinox; the work of writers such as Jack Hodgins, Sandra Birdsell, David Adams Richards, andPierre Berton; daily and weekly newspapers from across the country; and, of course, the Canadian Tire catalogue - all find a place in the evidence of The Canadian Oxford Dictionary. The lexicographers also examined an additional 20 million words of international English sources. For many Canadiansone of the more puzzling aspects of writing is trying to determine whether to use the American spelling or the British spelling. Should it be "colour" or "color", "theater" or "theatre", "programme" or "program"? By examining our extensive Canadian databases, our lexicographers have been able todetermine which, in fact, is the more common spelling: colour, theatre and program. Favoured Canadian pronunciations have also been determined by surveying a nationwide group of respondents. Oxford''s thorough research has also ensured that new words that have recently appeared are well-represented.So if you''re someone who puts on your "bicycle shorts" and "blades" over to the gym to do some "crunches" for your "abs" followed by work on your "lats", "pecs" and "delts", finishing up with a "step" class, because you''re afraid that being a "chocoholic" who loves "comfort food" will affect your"body mass index" and you want to avoid "yo-yo dieting", you''ll find all these common words in The Canadian Oxford Dictionary. An added feature of this dictionary is its encyclopedic element. It includes short biographies of over 800 Canadians, ranging from Elvis Stojko, Celine Dion and JeanBeliveau to Nellie McClung, Lester B. Pearson, and Kim Campbell. It also contains entries on 5,000 individuals and mythical figures of international significance, and almost 6,000 place names, more than 1,200 of them Canadian. Indeed, all Canadian towns with a population of 5,000 or more arefeatured, and their entries not only explain the origin of the place name, but also include the population based on the 1996 census. With the publication of The Canadian Oxford Dictionary, Oxford University Press adds another work to its highly respected range of dictionaries, and Canadians finallyhave a dictionary that truly reflects their nations.

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The Canadian Oxford dictionary

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Canadian English--historically overwhelmed by British and American linguistic influences--contains comparatively few terms unique to Canada. It comes as no surprise, then, that only about 2000 of the ... Read full review

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Awards--Our Choice 2003 (Canadian Children's Book Centre Saskatchewan Young Reader's Choice 2003 Read full review

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About the author (1998)

Raised in Winnipeg, Katherine Barber attended the University of Winnipeg and the University of Ottawa. Her first job working on a dictionary was with the Bilingual Canadian Dictionary project at the University of Ottawa. In 1991, she was recruited by Oxford University Press to Head up theirnewly-created Canadian dictionary department. Being Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Oxford Dictionary has also brought unexpected fame to Katherine Barber. From the moment the project was announced, she has been conducting radio and television interviews, and for the last few years has had a regularspot on CBC Radio's "Metro Morning" show in Toronto.

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