From Oxford, a holiday gift or two

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The Oxford University Press has unveiled another big-ticket present for the word-lover in your life (even if that’s you.) The new Historical Thesaurus is the largest thesaurus in the world, covering 92,000 words in two thick, printed volumes.

Price? Just $316 at Amazon, plus shipping. Look at what you get:

The Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary is a unique resource for word-lovers of all types-linguists and language specialists, historians, literary commentators, among others-as well as being a fascinating resource for everyone with an interest in the English language and its historical development. It is a perfect complement to the OED itself, allowing the words in the OED to be cross-referenced and viewed in wholly new ways.

Amazon has a fun video of how to use this new resource to call someone stupid. Below-worm is among the epithets, right up to dork. Hundreds of them.

The entire project nearly went up in flames during a 1978 fire at the Press, which gives you an idea of how long this venture has been in play. The OED itself, available online in a subscription package, is still in print at $995. But the printed OED is now 20 years old. A compact version of the printed OED, just 18 years old, is available at Amazon’s used marketplace for as little as $161. 

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