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Please note: This is a review of the Oxford CONCISE Dictionary of Quotations. I tried to suggest this as a product, but Dooyoo have told me to write the review here....
Whilst I was at university. I joined the English Society for some unknown reason (I was studying Soviet Politics...) and it turned out I was the only member. As the university had some competition, and I was the only member/ entrant, I received as a surprise in the post one day a padded envelope that contained the Oxford Concise Dictionary of Quotations.
My partner at the time told me to go to the University shop and sell it, but seeing as I love quotations (though am not one of those annoying people who keep announcing quotations in the middle of a conversation!), I wanted to keep the book and I ended up reading it from cover to cover, noting all the quotations I liked and writing these out into a notebook reserved for the purpose of quotes.
The book I have had an RRP of £8.99. Is Edition Three and is edited by Angela Partington. It is printed by the Oxford University Press and came out in 1993. The book is paperback and has 581 pages. 581 pages is "concise" apparently!
The layout is in the format:
Quotations in alphabetical order of Author/ Source up to page 361.
From page 362 onwards this is the vast Index which lists topics such as "flower" then gives you the first line of the quote, the author/ who the quote is attributed to and the page it can be found on. Ie: KIPL 196:21 means the quote is by Kipling, you can find it on page 192 and it is quotation 21 on that page.
The book is laid out so there are two vertical columns of text on each page. The print is very small and the paper yellowy.
It is a bit like using a Rogets Thesaurus. I read the book from A-Z and I found it fun to use it as a book rather than a reference tool to find out who said what. I can see how it could be used as a reference book, but I found it interesting to read through it as it showed me if I loved all the quotes by one person, I should hunt down some of their books as I would most likely like their writings. So using the book in this way has been invaluable to me.
All the quotes in the book as mentioned- are listed by AUTHOR. Then it gives you the birth/ death years of the author and underneath the quote it gives the source. For example:
Franz Kafka (1883-1924): "It's often better to be in chains than to be free". The Trial, 1928, ch.3.
So you can extract a lot of information from this book and you can use it in essays as the source is given (they like you to quote the author, where the quote came from, the page of the book etc).
Overall, I love this book. I don't think it is something people would think about buying as it is a form of dictionary and people rarely go out and say "Oh, I want to buy a dictionary today". But if you have a habit of reading a book and noting al the bits you like and making a note of them in a notebook with the author, book, page you found the quote from then I think you will adore this book.
There are a lot of funny quotes in the book and most people will know a lot of the people in the book who the quotes are taken from. There is also a whole section for "Anonymous" quotes and a chunk of quotes from the Bible and the Book of Common Prayer. There is also a good few pages on Shakespeare along with Historical figures such as Plato, Aristotle, Winston Churchill. There are a lot of quotes by people I have no idea who they are, but now with the internet and wikipedia, it is easy to look someone up to find out who they are and what they did.
Living in our house consists of skirting gingerly around piles of junk (miscellaneous) and trying to answer the eternal question - who put that potato peeler on the bathroom window ledge? More to the point - what did they use it for? If a house is a machine for living in (1), mine was made on a Friday afternoon, just before the hooter sent everyone racing for the clock. Wandering through the chaos, a rough and unordered mass (2) also known as the dining room I start to wonder if there is anything to religion. I read the bible several times as a child and concluded at the age of nine that it was a blockbuster alright, but sex and violence were not really my bag. If only God would give me some clear sign! Like making a large deposit in my name at a Swiss bank (3). You too can appropriate the hard graft of others just like I did. All you need is the Oxford Dictionary Of Quotations. There are over 20,000 quotations from 2,500 people, taken from speeches, plays, novels, diaries and films. My favourite female of the early twentieth century, Mae West, is included, with some of her best lines: "I used to be Snow White...but I drifted" There are quotes from the Beatles (lyrics), authors, politicians, philosophers, actors, the Bible and the works of Shakespeare (by far the biggest section at 70 pages long). Find a quotation by either looking up the source: people are listed alphabetically, or by looking in the Index. The Index is by keyword. I found the Allen quotation in the Index under: God: ... if only G. would give sign ALLEN 9:17 Not only quotations, but misquotations too, are listed. In the section Popular Misquotations (Things They Didn't Quite Say), are a selection of the most famous misquotations together with what they actually said or wrote: "Play it again, Sam", popularly thought to have been sa
id by the often imitated and never bettered Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca was actually "If she can stand it, I can. Play it!" "Beam me up, Scotty", attributed to William Shatner playing Captain Kirk, as if I needed to tell any of you, never actually appeared in Star Trek. The nearest equivalent was "Beam us up, Mr Scott". I would highly recommend this book for reference and for those bibliophiles like me who like to leaf through a book out of idle curiosity. (1) Le Corbusier, p.415, "Une maison est une machine-a-habiter" - A house is a machine for living in." (2) Ovid, p.502, "Chaos, rudis indigestaque moles" - Chaos, a rough and unordered mass. (3) Woody Allen, p.9, " If only God would give me some clear sign! Like making a large deposit in my name at a Swiss bank." Like many of my reference books (apart from the Chambers dictionary fondled by my sweaty hands at least once a day) the Oxford Dictionary Of Quotations was bought by my Mother on one of her frequent and mercenary flirtations with book clubs. The price she paid for it was about £1. The list price of the Oxford Dictionary Of Quotations is £25 You can find the hardback version in the following online bookstores: www.amazon.co.uk £20.00 (postage and packing £2.75) = £22.75 www.alphabetstreet.co.uk £23.75 (free postage and packing) = £23.75 www.ottakars.co.uk £25.00 (postage and packing £2.45) = £27.45 There is also an option to pick up your order from your local Ottakar's branch with no delivery charge.
Over 20,000 quotations from famous and infamous people ranging from politicians to philosophers and comedians to clerics. From Oxford University Press.