AM -- Dictionaries


Afrika: Abkürzungen und Acronyme = Africa [Abbreviations and Acronyms]. Ed. Alfred H. Sokoll. München: Alkos-Verlag Sokoll, 1995. viii, 951 p. 21 cm. ISBN 3-920902-39-4: DM 168.00. (Alkos-Verlag Sokoll, Postfach 830129, D-81701 München, fax [49 89] 637 33 14)


Schweiz: Abkürzungen und Acronyme = Swiss Abbreviations and Acronyms. Ed. Alfred H. Sokoll. 2d expanded ed. München: Alkos-Verlag Sokoll, 1997. v, 371 p. 21 cm. ISBN 3-920902-48-3: DM 148.00. (Alkos-Verlag Sokoll, Postfach 830129, D-81701 München, fax [49 89] 637 33 14)


Lateinamerika: Abkürzungen und Acronyme = Latin America Abbreviations and Acronyms. Ed. Alfred H. Sokoll. München: Alkos-Verlag Sokoll, 1997. viii, 531 p. 21 cm. ISBN 3-920902-41-6: DM 198.00. (Alkos-Verlag Sokoll, Postfach 830129, D-81701 München, fax [49 89] 637 33 14)

Alfred H. Sokoll, a passionate collector of abbreviations and publisher of the 1992 Verzeichnis Schweizerischer Abkürzungen und Akronyme ("Swiss abbreviations and acronyms"), has completed three more volumes in the last few years, on Africa and Latin America plus an expanded second edition of his Swiss abbreviations list. In comparison with David Hall's African Acronyms and Abbreviations (1996), one of the main differences is that in his Afrika, Sokoll includes Egypt, Madeira, Malta, and St. Helena, while Hall does not. Both supply the country of origin of the title in the key to abbreviations. The number of entries in Sokoll is much greater, particularly in the area of periodical-related abbreviations, though a sampling showed that many abbreviations in the more selective Hall are unique to that publication. Overall, Hall has taken greater care with his work and provided more detail than Sokoll, so that perhaps the best solution is to use both works in tandem.

The volume for Latin America contains 21,000 abbreviations. Here again the country of origin is supplied in the key to abbreviations.

The new edition of the Swiss abbreviations dictionary has grown to 15,000 abbreviations according to the foreword, and two thirds of the entries are new since the first edition. And-too late to be evaluated in this review-yet a 3rd edition of this work was published in 1998.

Alfred Sokoll is compiling a huge universal dictionary of abbreviations, Handbuch der Abkürzungen: ein umfassendes Nachschlagewerk für alle Bibliotheken, Institute, Industriebetriebe und Verwaltungen, which, according to its subtitle, purports to be a "comprehensive reference work for all libraries, institutes, industrial firms, and governmental offices," and which has now reached volume 9, letters NP-RD. The regional compilations reviewed here are actually just excerpts from the larger work, and libraries that can still afford the subscription to the Handbuch need not purchase them. Other libraries might want the one or the other if it corresponds to a special collecting emphasis. Because it is very hard to keep such a publication up-to-date, it would make sense to publish this information in database form-provided the price is reasonable. [sah/hh]


A Directory of Acronyms and Abbreviations: Derived from the British Library's Catalogue of Conference Proceedings. 3d ed. Boston Spa, Wetherby: British Library, National Bibliographic Service, 1998. 187 p. 28 cm. 2nd ed. (1995) titled Directory of Acronyms. ISBN 0-7123-2147-0: £27.00, £33.00 (overseas). (Turpin Distribution Services Ltd., Blackhorse Road, Letchworth, Herts SG6 IHN, England, e-mail: turpin@rsc.org)

The second edition of this work, called simply Directory of Acronyms (1995), contained 9,800 acronyms (some of which were actually abbreviations); this edition has, according to its introduction, acronyms or abbreviations of the names of "over 9,000 organizations and societies, conference titles, and scientific terms." The newer edition has a second section in which the full names are listed alphabetically, with their acronyms or abbreviations. Libraries and users who have access to either the printed or the digital version of the Index of Conference Proceedings of the Document Supply Centre of the British Library have no need for this directory. [sh/mrh]


Vokabular des Nationalsozialismus [Vocabulary of National Socialism]. Cornelia Schmitz-Berning. Berlin [et al.]: de Gruyter, 1998. xli, 710 p. 24 cm. ISBN 3-11-013379-2: DM 128.00

This book is based on a dissertation done by the author (then Cornelia Berning) in the 1950s, reproduced in Zeitschrift für deutsche Wortforschung in six installments between 1960 and 1963, and reworked as a monograph shortly thereafter (Berlin: De Gruyter, 1964). In this iteration, 500 entries are listed alphabetically. The meaning of each word or phrase is given, along with an etymological history, followed by extensive contextual examples and, in some cases, samples of later use. The texts in which the pertinent vocabulary appears are taken primarily from the period 1920-1945. They consist of dictionary entries, the press, speeches, and other readings. Because there are no machine-readable corpora for the period, the author had to examine every text herself, and handled some areas only marginally, for example, the economy, the military and air defense. An impressive list of her sources is at the beginning of the book. In the context of other (older) philological works about the vocabulary of the period, Schmitz-Berning's work stands out for its unemotional and scientific approach. [kb/mrh]

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