Further jolly good fun from the folks at the lexicography Dept.
The dictionaries chosen at will:
Collins English Dictionary Fourth Edition updated 2000. According to the blurb: 21st Century Edition and The New Britannica-Webster Dictionary and Reference Guide 1981
The query at hand: Compare the prefaces of said dictionaries:
The dictionaries in question do not have a section called preface in their books, but according to the etymology of the word from the Britannica-Webster its origins are : [Middle French, from Latin prefatio “foreword”, from praefari “to say beforehand” from prae– “pre-” + “fari” “to say”] and according to Collins preface comes from [C14: from medieval Latin praefatia, from Latin praefatio a saying beforehand, from praefari to utter in advance from prae– before + “fari” to say] hence I will use the Foreword, indicated in both dictionaries, to mean ‘preface’.
Collins seems to address its audience with much more in mind to say since there are far more wordy compared to Britannica-Webster who has less than a half page dedicated to their foreword. Collins has one and a half pages addressed to its readers. The information presented in the Britannica-Webster is placed smack in the middle with three short paragraphs and the one presented in Collins has one full page of information in two column rows and a second page half full also in a two column row formation.
Britannica-Webster has a near childish approach to its reader, and the emphasis on the didactical aspects are way over done. More oft than not it sounded like a blurb, highlighting much of the contents and what it had. It is a mere self-laudatory foreword to the dictionary as if the selling pitch has to continue to convince the reader that said dictionary is a sound investment. A few recommendations as to what to do first with the dictionary were dished out by the Editors. Collins also has the tendency to hype up its foreword by lauding its efforts in bringing about said dictionary, much of the information, if you bypass the sales pitch that seems to permeate every other labor that was done in an effort to bring the dictionary about, is handy and I guess that credit must be given were credit is due.
Bloody good review if you ask me!
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