ed 22. Price, $18.50. Pp 1,533, with numerous illustrations. Williams & Wilkins Co, 428 E Preston St, Baltimore 21202, 1972.
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Manifold pitfalls threaten the reviewer of a dictionary. Chief among these is the risk of descending to picayune criticism. Isolated errors of omission and commission can be found in any dictionary, but of what use is it to point out, for example, that this edition of Stedman's fails to include the word "videodensitometry"?
A dictionary is difficult to review because it is not a coherent entity. At best, one can make general statements: Stedman's 22nd edition contains few archaic words, and omits few new coinings; the definitions are clear and not demonstrably in error. (All these judgments are based only on spot checks carried out over a period of several weeks.)
There are, perhaps, two features which stand out. The system of crossreferences is better than most. And the material on etymology is well presented and likely to benefit even the most casual reader.
Stedman's will continue to be a
Roland CG. Stedman's Medical Dictionary. Arch Dermatol. 1973;107(1):130. doi:10.1001/archderm.1973.01620160094033