This study examines the Oxford Collocations Dictionary for students of English (OCD). It is not intended as a balanced review of the dictionary, but rather concentrates on specific areas of lexicographical presentation where there appears to be room for improvement. The study is based on the analysis of two four-page sections of the dictionary. These contained 80 headwords and over 1600 collocational phrases. Where doubts arose regarding the usefulness or accuracy of the dictionary data, searches were made in the British National Corpus (hereafter BNC), upon which OCD was largely based. Analysis suggests that the following are areas where improvements might be made: the structure of the entries for prepositional collocates; the choice of which collocates to include for a given headword; the importance given to examples of usage; the treatment of extended collocational units; collocates of specific word forms; the precision of phraseological form in general. Suggestions are also made as regards certain additional features which it might be useful to include within some dictionary entries, specifically, semantic labelling, relationship between collocational phrase and text type, and frequency data.
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