Thursday, April 10, 2003

The Economist writes about the fifth edition Shorter Oxford English Dictionary. In the online version of the article they helpfully provide links to and The UK version has 3739 pages and costs the equivalent of $US120.30. The US version has 3984 pages and costs $US105.00 (eh? that must be why the sales rank is higher).

If you want to buy the complete 20 volume 1989 Second OED, it depends where you live! If you are in the US, it is $US895; Canada, it's $US1250; Singapore $US1400; Australia $US1500, New Zealand $US1800; and UK/Europe, $US2800!! (Yes, I checked both and, though it is less than 1/3 the price used.) It is a very strange pricing structure. Outside the UK, there is an INVERSE relationship between how much money people have and its price; and in its home country it's 3 times the price it is in the US. (Only in the UK can you have the blue leather edition for more than twice that price.)

Since I move around so much I think the CD-ROM (version 3.0) is for me. Also, the hard copy doesn't have hyperlinks, or the supplements included. Again, the price depends on where you live. $US295 in the USA, $US320 ($US390 from the OUP site) in the UK/EU, $US500 (for version 2.1?!) in Canada, $US387 in NZ, $US330 in Australia, $US235 in Singapore. (And $US3 in Iran. The lack of a copyright convention is one more thing keeping Iran out of the WTO, and an Iranian trade official told me that Iran intends to use it as a bargaining chip, which sounds illogical to me.)

Getting back to pricing differences, where will you buy the fifth book of Harry Potter ("The order of the Phoenix") when it is released? offers a 40% discount, but offers a 50% discount! Of course they both come out on June 21. Assuming the exchange rate stays the same, it means the UK version is much cheaper ($US13.26 vs $US17.99) for a change! Ooooh, and Janet just explained to me that in the UK, the only difference between the "adult edition" and the normal one is the cover. So that you don't get seen reading a kid's book! "No, I am not kidding!" - Janet

In real life, I am having a discussion about the meaning of "pimp juice" (in Persian, "ab-e-koskesh"). It was Sarah who brought it to my attention. Fortunately a web search provides the answer. Sarah tried to explain it to me by printing out the lyrics to this song. There is a definition in the song:

"Now your pimp juice is anything, attract the opposite sex
It could be money, fame, or straight intellect"

but there's also an interview with the artist, Nelly which clears it up (I think). Let me say I am just amazed by the profundity of Nelly's lyrics. It just beats any Shakespeare, Dante, or Hafez:

"It's getting hot in here, so take off all your clothes,
I am getting so hot - I wanna take my clothes off."

Good to see concious, thought provoking lyrics coming back.

And I finished reading "Reading Lolita in Tehran!" I learned new words like upsilamba and poshlust that I could have picked up reading Nabokov in the first place. Maybe there will be a review soon; I recommend it to all interested in modern Iran or women's issues there though.

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