William Branford. The South African Pocket Oxford Dictionary of Current English
Woordeboeke en Woordelyste I Dictionaries and Word-lists William Branford. The South African Pocket Oxford Dictionary of Current English, 2nd South African edition 1994, 2nd impression 1995, xxiii + 1138 pp. ISBN 0-19-570760-5. Cape Town: Oxford University Press. Price R54,95. Australian, New Zealand and South African pocket dictionaries of English are relatively recent additions to the burgeoning proliferation of Oxford dictionaries. This second edition of The South African Pocket Oxford
... Pocket Oxford Dictionary of Current English (SAPOD), which is based on the eighth edition of The Pocket Oxford Dictionary of Current English (1992) edited by Della Thompson, has benefited greatly by the advances in modem technology by being able to draw on the latest updated computerized databases of the Oxford English dictionaries. This has enabled the compilers to include such topical entries as ethnic cleansing, karaoke, pixel, toy boy and virtual reality. Comparing this 'pocket' dictionary with myoid 1964 edition of the Concise Oxford Dictionary (whicI:t is about the same size), I was struck by how userfriendly this new version is. Some of the features making this dictionary more accessible to the user are set out below. Headwords are set in bold type. A conscious policy of 'denesting' has been followed resulting in words being easier to find. For instance, compound words such as French leave are written as two words instead of being 'nested' at the end of entries. The various senses of a word are numbered instead of being separated by semicolons. Explanations of etymologies are set out in a more straightforward way than in many earlier dictionaries. Specific infonnation about the forms of words has been given, such as difficult plural fonns (e.g. syllabuses / syllabi). Pronunciation of words is given in a phonetic transcription (using IPA symbols). The notes on usage are one of the most helpful features of this dictionary. These notes include guidance on aspects of traditional grammar such as noun phrases, transitive verbs, adverbs and the like, as well as old chestnuts such as the difference between shall and will, due to and owing to, affect and effect etc. There are also helpful comments on the use of noun class markers when referring to the names of Sintu languages or ethnic groups such as amaXhosa. Some of the most helpful notes are those on the South African usage of (often loaded) terms such as baas, Bantu, boy, Bushman, comrade, girl, man, master and Springbok. The note on girl, quoted below, gives a good idea of the nature of these notes: Many S. Africans still say girl, housegirl, washgirl etc. of a Black woman servant without intending offence, but these terms are deeply resented by others.