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English Language: Reference


The American Heritage Dictionary contains over seventy thousand words and definitions.

Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is the accepted authority on the evolution of the English language. The OED provides definitions, etymological analysis, and quotations to demonstrate the use of words in the English language over time.  The library has the OED in print and online versions.

The Oxford Dictionary and Usage Guide to the English Language is a reference guide to the English language and is a dictionary and usage guide in one.

The Oxford Dictionary of Pronunciation for Current English gives phonetic transcriptions using the International Phonetic Alphabet for both words and proper names.


Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language is an exploration of the history, structure, and use of the English language.  The encyclopedia explores the history, structure, and use of the English language and discusses its origins and evolution, its use in literature, and its structural features, and addresses grammar, pronunication, and vocabulary.

An Encyclopedia of Swearing: The Social History of Oaths, Profanity, Foul Language, and Ethnic Slurs in the English-Language World covers the various social dynamics that generate swearing, foul language, and insults in the entire range of the English language.  A--Z entries cover the full range of swearing and foul language in English, including fascinating details on the history and origins of each term.

Grammar & Style

English Grammar Essentials for Dummies is the fun and easy way to learn essential grammar rules, common usage errors, and other key concepts in the English language.

The Elements of Style includes elementary rules of usage, elementary principles of composition, words and expressions commonly misused, and more.


ABC Pronunciary: American English Pronunciation Dictionary describes and shows all of the mouth movements necessary for producing the 52 sounds of American English. It is supported by words that contain each sound as well as practice sentences and sound contrasts.

The Routledge Handbook of Contemporary English Pronunciation provides a comprehensive survey of the field covering both theoretical and practical perspectives on pronunciation.  This handbook examines: the linguistic and historical background of sound systems and theoretical issues linked to sound changes, pronunciation acquisition and factors related to speech production, pronunciation research and applications to second language pronunciation, the link between pronunciation and other language skills including perception and other socio-cultural factors, and pronunciation and its relation to World Englishes.