Get a Concise Oxford as well
Stabroek News
April 18, 2002

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Dear Editor,

I am rather amused by your Editor's note to my letter, "Rearing, not raring", published in your Sunday Stabroek of April 14, 2002.

I do not possess a copy of Chambers, but I do not, either, rely merely upon being among "us of the older generation". That could be a bit conceited, and eminently self-defeating, in a world of constant evolution and invention in language. My copy of the ninth edition of the Concise Oxford Dictionary however, reads thus: "raring... (followed by 'to'..) colloq(uial). - enthusiastic, eager (raring to go). (partic(iple) of rare, dialect variant of Roar or Rear). In short, "raring" is purely colloquial, and not, according to the Concise Oxford, recommended for employment in formal communication.

It is possible that your Chambers' does not bother with such detail. What seems a bit of a puzzle to me, however, is that a medium such as yours would rely exclusively upon a single English i.e., British, dictionary. The tenth edition of the Concise Oxford has been in circulation for at least a couple of years now, and I do suggest, with all humility, that it might be useful to make a copy available to your editorial staff, to supplement (complement?) whatever other texts are now available to them.

Yours faithfully,

Walter A. Jordan