From the introduction to the Useful Dictionary of English:
This is a dictionary for ‘slow learners’. There are many individuals who never want to stop learning, but the process for them is a slow one. I do hope that the user-friendly approach in the page layout will be an encouragement to such a group.
This is a dictionary for unconfident readers. Many individuals have lost confidence in reading for a variety of reasons. I do hope they will find this book becomes a guide and stimulates them to start reading again.
This is a dictionary for poor spellers. I am told this group is far larger than may at first be imagined. Even professionals need help from time to time in this direction.
This is a dictionary for dyslexic friends. Being dyslexic myself I knowing that in all walks of life – from successful businessmen to those involved in the media, from ‘celebrities’ whose names are unknown outside their immediate circle – being dyslexic is a genuine problem. The thoughtful way that our Designer, Steve Carroll has interpreted the needs of dyslexic people I hope will be a great help.
This is a dictionary for children and students. In more recent days, I have enjoyed the privilege of becoming an Ambassador for Birmingham University and expressing my concern for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds who now have an opportunity to move to higher education. Not only that group, but all children and students can benefit from making this Dictionary their regular companion. Of course, there is a whole range of dictionaries which the wise student will make use of – and likewise use them and commend them. But they tend to be ‘resource’ and ‘reference’ books. We desire that this “Useful Dictionary” will be a friend for life.
This is a dictionary for overseas visitors, those for whom English is a second language, I hope this Dictionary will be of great help.
A great deal of thought has gone into this Dictionary and my only regret is that I did not produce it 30 years ago, when I first entered publishing.
Robert Hicks, Dyslexic Publisher