American Heritage Dictionary

Grant Barrett gbarrett at MONICKELS.COM
Sat Nov 25 15:54:33 UTC 2000

A while back we talked about the dearth of dictionary reviews in American
newspapers. Well, here's one in the Times of the fourth edition of Houghton Miffilin's American
Heritage Dictionary of the English Language.

"In the fourth edition of the American Heritage Dictionary, ... multiple points of
view are proffered and the authority of the past is rejected along with the privileged
position of written poetry and prose. This edition is the climax of several decades
of lexicographical evolution. Though many authorities are consulted for this
dictionary, the ultimate authority is the ordinary person's ordinary speech. Nothing is
absolutely correct; nothing is ever incorrect. It is just a matter of who uses a word and

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