Our friends at the Oxford University Press need to turn to page 692 of their Pocket Dictionary and look up the definition of ‘Pocket’. They might be surprised to find that a pocket is not defined as: “a large bag sewn into or on clothing that is capable of holding a 1,100 page hardcover-dictionary.”
I’m suggesting that even MC Hammer would struggle to fit the Pocket Oxford English Dictionary in his trouser pocket.
Perhaps Dr Who stopped in at the OUP and dropped off a pair of Tardis pants. Actually, this would explain a lot, because the Pocket Oxford English Dictionary has a companion - the Pocket Oxford Thesaurus – and it would take a pair of Tardis pants to contain this dynamic duo.
The ‘pocket’ moniker is a misnomer, but this is still an excellent small dictionary. It fits nicely in the hand and is a joy to flick through. Its definitions are crisp and clear. It’s the dictionary you reach for when you think you know the definition or spelling of a word, but you want to be sure before committing to it in writing.
And I bet those folk at the OUP were happy when they closed out the book with ‘Zygote’. The symmetry is almost Zen: the end of words is the beginning of life.
Perhaps I’m reading too much into it.