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Dictionary of the Internet

Ince, Darrel
Publisher:  Oxford University Press
Year Published:  2001  
Pages:  340pp   ISBN:  0-19-280124-4

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Ince, an academic teaching computer studies, is the author of over 28 books in the field. This dictionary has about 3600 entries, mostly jargon from networking and Internet usage, with many abbreviations and technical terms (derived from TCP/IP protocols). Areas covered include email, web, ecommerce, security, intranets. There are internal cross-references to other entries. Typical words include handshake, route tracing, asynchronous learning, and copycat page. Among the abbreviations are all the popular chat room/forum phrases. However, while there is RTM (Read the Manual)-a phrase I have NEVER EVER seen - there is no mention of what I have seen: RTFM (which inserts the appropriate word F*cking). In addition, a section on emoticons only shows ten of them. The accompanying CD-ROM of eight megabytes has the full text of the book, with hyperlinks between entries and to external websites. Its website at Oxford has all the updates since 2000 (www.askoxford.com/worldofwords/internet). While these can be downloaded, they cannot be added to the CD-ROM. Here, you can toggle between UK and US viewpoints, and you can check out links to the OED, Quotations, and History of English. Ince also produces research (on the website) which shows that the Internet leads to a brand of English that suppresses local variations.

Some interesting facts: Internet words do manage to make it into regular English dictionaries.

What I don't like about this resource: most print entries have the word LINK in them, which takes up space and means nothing in the book; it refers only to the CD-ROM, which, by the way, cannot be loaded onto the hard drive - it must remain in the bay.

What I do like about this resource: definitions are succinct, with no derivation or history.

Quality-to-Price Ratio: 83.

[Review by Dean Tudor]

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