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Reviews175 Merriam-Webster's Collegiate® Dictionary, Tenth Edition. 1993. Ed. Frederick C. Mish, and others. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster Inc. 38a + 1562 pp. $20.00 U.S. This completely revised edition of die best-selling dictionary in die United States sports a new title that leads widi the name of die publisher, a departure from the titles of previous editions, which began simply widi "Webster 's," e.g., Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary. As the preface makes clear, the title change is meant to emphasize die lexicographic tradition that stands behind this book. It traces its editorial history in a continuous line to Noah Webster, whose 1840 American dictionary was acquired, published, and continuously revised by die G. & C. Merriam Company, now Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Merriam-Webster feels obliged to emphasize its name and its proprietary interest in die combination of Merriam and Webster, particularly since diere are so many "Webster" dictionaries on die market, including two of die major competitors of the Merriam-Webster book. Despite the general use of die name Webster by so many different dictionaries , Merriam-Webster has been able to maintain a solid market lead widi its Collegiate® edition. Recent estimates (exact figures are guarded secrets) suggest that die Merriam-Webster dictionary has at least 50% of the collegeedition market, widi the Prentice Hall (Simon & Schuster/Paramount) entry, Webster's New World Dictionary, Third College Edition, in a strong second place, followed by (in an order unknown to this reviewer) dictionaries from Houghton Mifflin and Random House. All four books will be compared and discussed below, as it is impossible to review any one of them widiout attention paid to its rivals. As noted in my review of the Random House Webster's College Dictionary (Dictionaries 1991), the four major American dictionaries are very much alike in trim size, page and entry count, heft, diickness, and of course, price. All sell at retail for about $23 nowadays, up recently from die $16 that had prevailed in die market for some years. College-edition dictionaries: the best bargain in publishing Thanks to the size of die American dictionary market and die effectiveness of die publishers' marketing strategies, college dictionaries remain by far the best bargain in publishing, at least in terms of raw information for one's dollar. All four of diese books contain around 18 to 20 million characters , and all are carefully edited and maintained by dedicated professional staff. Compare diat to die price of today's best-selling fiction or non-fiction offerings , which for $30 and more may contain less dian one million characters (and offer little satisfaction). The amount of material included in each of these four dictionaries is immense, yet the accuracy and reliability of the data is very high, at least in terms of what most dictionary users turn to dieir dictionary for—a reliable and accurate guide to spelling, serviceable definitions, word divisions, and sometimes help widi pronunciation or even word origin. 1 76Reviews The four American college dictionaries There are distinct differences, however, between die several major college dictionaries. One might characterize these differences by saying that each has its own personality, with certain distinctive traits, which close comparison can reveal. Besides the Merriam-Webster dictionary (WlO) under review here, the other American college dictionaries are (copyright dates reflect edition used): American Heritage College Dictionary, Third Edition. Houghton Mifflin, 1993. (AHCD3) Random House Webster's College Dictionary. Random House, 1991. (RHWCD) Webster's New World Dictionary of American English, Third College Edition. Prentice Hall, 1994. (WNWD3) The numbers game Gross comparisons show both similarities and marked differences: text pagescharacterstrim sizeheadwords WlO 152921,000,0007 x 10 in.100,000 AHCD3 157118,000,0007x10 in.87,000 RHWCD 155519,000,0007x10 in.87,000 WNWD3 155719,000,0007 x 10 in.85,000 Text pages include only pages with lexical, biographical, or geographical entries, not including front or back matter. Character counts were estimated by counting the number of lines per column and the number of characters per line (including spaces). Headwords include all boldface main-entry items, not counting inflected forms, run-ons, list words, etc. The numbers would suggest that WlO is the biggest of them...