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Book of the month - December 2014

COBUILD Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (8th edition)




Nowadays many students use electronic dictionaries. So should we welcome a new paperback learner’s dictionary? The eighth edition of the advanced COBUILD dictionary has many strengths. It is based on the long-established Collins Corpus, a 4.5-billion-word database which provides authentic examples. Boxes contain information on word partnerships, synonyms and usage. I like the ‘Word link’ boxes, which show features such as prefixes and suffixes, and the ‘Word Webs’, which give encyclopeadia-style information. One standout feature is the use of full-colour pictures to illustrate areas like architecture and herbs. Rhomboid symbols provide all-important word-frequency information, although I would like to know the exact number of words in each frequency band. Paperback dictionaries remain popular; this one, at just under 2,000 pages, is attractive and useful.