MERRIAM-wEBSTER'S Advanced Learner's English Dictionary, Stephen J. Perrault, 2008

MERRIAM-wEBSTER'S Advanced Learner's English Dictionary,

Author: Merriam-Webster, Inc

Publisher: Bukupedia

ISBN: N.A

Category: Reference

Page: 2032

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Preface Merriam-Webster[1]s Advanced Learner[1]s English Dictionary is not only an entirely new dictionary created by the editorial staff of America[1]s oldest dictionary publisher it also marks the beginning of a new kind of publishing for this company. Over the past 160 years, Merriam-Webster has produced hundreds of dictionaries and other reference books, and many of those books have been useful to learners of English as a second or foreign language, but this dictionary is the first one that we have produced specifically to meet the needs of those learners. The creation of this dictionary reflects the reality that English has become an international language, and that American English, in particular, is now being used and studied every day by millions of people around the world. We believe that we have a unique opportunity to help students of English in the U.S. and elsewhere to understand our language and to use it more clearly and effectively. This dictionary provides coverage of both American and British English. Its coverage of British English is current and comprehensive. Its coverage of American English is, we believe, unparalleled. The thousands of entries, senses, phrases, forms, and examples that are labeled US in this dictionary will provide learners with a clearer and more precise description of idiomatic American usage than has ever before been available in a dictionary of this kind. The approximately 100,000 entries in this dictionary include a broad selection of words from all major areas of interest, including popular culture, business, sports, science, and technology, among others. Our main focus in choosing entries has been to include the language that people are most likely to need and encounter in their daily lives. The evidence used to make decisions about which words and senses to include was drawn, first of all, from our continually growing database of citation text, now numbering more than 100 million words. That evidence was augmented in essential ways by the resources that are available to us over the Internet, and in particular by the enormous databases of Lexis-Nexis, which provided editors with ready access to vast amounts of material from both American and British sources. Not so long ago dictionary editors had to rely entirely on evidence that had been painstakingly collected over a period of years by a program of reading. That program continues at Merriam-Webster, providing the basis of our citation database, and we continue to find great value in the traditional methods of evidence-gathering, but we also have fully embraced the power of the electronic tools that have become available in recent decades. The use of computers now makes it possible for dictionary editors to examine and describe language at a level of detail that was never before imaginable. The definitions in this dictionary are written in simple language. In many cases, a single use of a word will be given more than one definition. Very often a word will be defined by a quite simple definition, followed by a definition that is perhaps somewhat less simple or that shows how the defined word is related to another word. For example, the verb pioneer is defined both as to help create or develop new ideas, methods, etc. and as to be a pioneer in the development of something . The first definition can certainly stand alone, but the second definition enhances it by underscoring the close connection between the verb pioneer and the noun pioneer a connection that native speakers are unconsciously aware of, but that learners may not sense so strongly. The inclusion of multiple definitions thus helps learners both to expand their vocabularies and to gain a fuller picture of a word[1]s meaning by approaching it from a slightly different direction. Notes of various kinds are also used abundantly throughout the dictionary to clarify and emphasize aspects of usage that cannot be easily captured or expressed in a definition. True fluency in any language, of course, is not acquired by memorizing dictionary definitions, but by hearing and seeing how words are used in combination with each other to express meaning. In writing this book we have devoted a great deal of care and attention to creating simple and accurate definitions, but our feeling throughout has been that the real heart of the dictionary is its examples. We know from experience that dictionary users, whether native speakers or learners, want more examples. They want examples for common words, and they want examples for difficult words. Although not every entry in this dictionary includes an example there is usually very little value in providing an example for, say, a noun like microchip or monoplane the great majority of the entries do, and a large percentage of them include more than one. There are more than 160,000 usage examples in this dictionary. A few of them are quotations taken from well-known works of American and British literature, but most are made-up examples, based on evidence of real English, that have been carefully written to show words being used in appropriate contexts which accurately reflect their uses in actual speech and writing. A large number of the examples in this dictio- 7a JOBNAME: Webster’s Learners D PAGE: 2 SESS: 12 OUTPUT: Mon Jul 14 12:25:33 2008 /data31/webster/dict/mw−learners−dictionary/003−fm−preface nary do not simply illustrate usage, they also explain it and expand upon it in other ways. Many examples include synonymous words or phrases shown within brackets, thus allowing the reader either to learn a new word or to have the connection between the meanings of words reinforced. Examples also often include glosses, so that phrases and compound terms whose meanings are not obvious can be explained clearly and simply. And we have very frequently explained the meaning of entire phrases and sentences by restating them with other, simpler words. Many examples also show how the same word can be used in slightly different ways[1]or how related words can be used in different ways[1]to say the same thing. We believe that such examples are of great value to the learner they are the next best thing to having a native speaker available by your side to help clarify what you are seeing and hearing. Any comprehensive dictionary contains an enormous amount of information, and dictionary editors have typically been required to use a variety of abbreviations and other shortcuts to fit all that information into the limited space available between the covers of a book. Two of our main goals in creating the entries for this dictionary were to keep the use of such shortcuts to a minimum and to employ conventions that are readily understandable. We set out to create a dictionary that could be easily used without frequent reference to explanatory materials. To achieve that, we have minimized the use of abbreviations and symbols although we were not able to eliminate them entirely and we have tried to use labels and notes whose meanings are immediately clear. We have also made every effort to organize entries in a way that allows users to find the information they want quickly. The most obvious convention we have adopted for this purpose is the use of blue text for examples. The blue text not only highlights the examples, it also makes it much easier to identify the other elements of an entry[1]the definitions, usages notes, and so on[1]and to navigate through long entries to find the particular information that you need. It can sometimes be easy to forget that a large dictionary like this one has to be written word by word and line by line. Each definition, each example, each note that appears in this dictionary is the product of careful and strenuous thought by at least one person, and often by many people, since the nature of the writing and editing process is such that multiple stages of review are required before the work is truly finished. The names of the many people who worked on this book are listed in the following paragraphs. The length of this project has meant that some of the people who were with us when it began had moved on to other parts of their lives by the time it ended. The Merriam-Webster editors credited here include both current and former staff members. Former Director of Defining E. Ward Gilman and former Editor in Chief Frederick C. Mish, both now retired, provided helpful suggestions when the project was in its initial planning stages, as did consultant Robert Ilson. President and Publisher John M. Morse was also involved in the initial planning of the project and provided support and encouragement throughout it. The editors who had the first crack at creating entries included, in no particular order, Karen L. Wilkinson, Susan L. Brady, Thomas F. Pitoniak, Kathleen M. Doherty, Emily A. Brewster, G. James Kossuth, Emily B. Arsenault, Penny L. Couillard-Dix, Emily A. Vezina, Benjamin T. Korzec, Ilya A. Davidovich, Judy Yeh, Rose Martino Bigelow, Kory L. Stamper, Peter A. Sokolowski, Neil S. Serven, Deanna Stathis, Anne Eason, Joanne M. Despres, Rebecca Bryer-Charette, and myself. Dr. Ilson undertook a complete review of the work that was done at that early stage, and he made many valuable corrections and additions. He was particularly helpful in providing good examples and in augmenting our coverage of British English by identifying distinctions often very subtle ones between American and British usage. The pronunciations throughout the dictionary were provided by Joshua S. Guenter. The essential task of checking and re-checking cross-references was handled by Maria Sansalone, Donna L. Rickerby, and Adrienne M. Scholz. The work of copyediting the entries that had been created by the definers was done by editors Wilkinson, Brady, Brewster, Couillard-Dix, Korzec, Yeh, Stamper, Sokolowski, Serven, Eason, Despres, Bryer- Charette, and me. The complexity of this project was such that an additional reviewing stage was added following copyediting. That work was done by editors Bryer-Charette, Korzec, Brewster, Stamper, Brady, Couillard-Dix, Wilkinson, and Madeline L. Novak. The responsibility for final review of the manuscript fell to me. The proofreading of the galleys and page proofs was done by many of the editors mentioned above and by Anne P. Bello and Paul S. Wood. The primary proofreader for the in-house keying of revisions was Kathleen M. Doherty. Specialized editing assistance was provided by editors Wood and Doherty. Most of the illustrations that appear throughout were newly created for this book. The new black-and-white illustrations were drawn by Tim Phelps of Johns Hopkins Univ., and the color illustrations were researched and drawn by Merriam-Webster editor Diane Caswell Christian. Mark A. Stevens oversaw the creation of the new illustrations and planned the black-and-white illustrations along with Lynn Stowe Tomb, who also coordinated work with Mr. Phelps and converted the drawings to electronic form for typesetting. Freelancer Loree Hany and editors Jennifer N. Cislo and Joan I. Narmontas assisted in art research. The selection of the 3,000 entry words that are highlighted as being most important for learners to know was based in large part on initial recommendations provided by James G. Lowe and Madeline L. Novak. Additional research was carried out and final selections were made by John M. Morse. The Geographical Names section was prepared by Daniel J. Hopkins. The other back matter sections were prepared by Mark A. Stevens, C. Roger Davis, and outside contributor Orin Hargraves. Robert D. Copeland arranged for 8a Preface JOBNAME: Webster’s Learners D PAGE: 3 SESS: 12 OUTPUT: Mon Jul 14 12:25:33 2008 /data31/webster/dict/mw−learners−dictionary/003−fm−preface Content Data Solutions, Inc., to convert the dictionary data files to a suitable format before typesetting them. The converted files were checked by Donna L. Rickerby. Daniel B. Brandon keyed revisions into the converted data files and contributed other technical help. Thomas F. Pitoniak directed the book through its typesetting stages. Project coordination and scheduling were handled by Madeline L. Novak, who was also chiefly responsible for the book[1]s typography and page design. Our notions about what this book could and should be continued to develop as we progressed through the different stages of editing, and many of the people named above made useful suggestions that led to changes, both minor and major, in the book[1]s style and content. Further changes were implemented thanks to comments and suggestions from a group of consultants who reviewed a selection of entries at a fairly late stage in the project. We gratefully acknowledge the important contributions of those consultants, whose names are listed below. We want first of all to express our thanks to Jerome C. Su, President of the Taiwan Association of Translation and Interpretation and Chair of Bookman Books, Taipei, Taiwan, for all of his advice and good suggestions at the reviewing stage and throughout the project. Our other consultants, all of whom provided us with carefully considered and valuable feedback, were Virginia G. Allen, author and educator, Ohio State Univ. James H. Miller, ESL teacher Elizabeth Niergarth, ESL instructor consultant, Harvard Univ. Susan Despres Prior, ESL teacher Caroline Wilcox Reul, lexicographer and ESL teacher Maggie Sokolik, Director, Technical Communication Program, College of Engineering, Univ. of California, Berkeley Yukio Takahashi, English teacher, Sendai Shirayuri Gakuen High School, Sendai, Japan Gregory Trzebiatowski, Headmaster, Thomas Jefferson School, Concepción, Chile and his students Felipe Opazo, Paula Reyes, and Carolina Sanhueza and Rob Waring, author and educator, Notre Dame Seishin Univ., Okayama, Japan. All of the editors who worked on this book have of course had the experience of studying a foreign language, with varying degrees of success. This project has given us renewed opportunities to understand what it is like to approach Englishwith all its complexities, subtleties, and apparent inconsistenciesas a learner rather than as a native speaker, and that experience has reminded us again of just how challenging the task of learning a new language truly is. We hope and believe that Merriam-Webster[1]s Advanced Learner[1]s English Dictionary is a resource that will make that task easier for students of English. Stephen J. Perrault Editor

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ISBN: 9780877796282

Category: Reference

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ISBN: 3446259805

Category: Political Science

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Publisher: N.A

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ISBN: 3832184104

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ISBN: 1118087178

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