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The Oxford English Dictionary in considered by many to be the ultimate arbiter of english words. They have only one product, and the more leverage they can get out of it , the more money they can make.
I propose that the OED offer a free electronic dictionary of the sort that Microsoft Word refers
to while spellchecking. With it, when one spellchecks, one would get all the alternative spellings, words that are near misses etc - as is the case with any Word dictionary, but now with the thoroughness of the OED. On purchasing the licensed version, one could click on words in the text and be connected to the OED on line to learn their definition, etymology etc.
[bungston, Mar 23 2007]
||It's rare that you need the depth that the OED offers over, say, Collins (or Word). Still, it has a certain cachet.
||It's not such a bad idea, but I use Spell
Catcher, which is most excellent, and
very cheap, for such a powerful, stand
alone programme. Not sure, if there is a
PC version, as I only know about Macs.