(currently unavailable through Amazon, sadly)
I would never have thought to buy it, but now that I have it, I love this book. It’s on the shelf above my desk in my office and I probably use it a couple of times a day. I’m a pretty good speller but even so, nothing beats this book for quick double-checks and correct Canadian spellings. There are so many words on a page (since there are no definitions, just words) that even if you’re a bit off, you’re probably on the right page. Very convenient.
Initially I think I was fond of it because it was a gift from the Oxford Dictionary folks, who were working on the Canadian Oxford Dictionary at the time. Along with a whole pile of other people from across Canada, I spent a very amusing few months answering a dozen or so emails every day — “tomAYto or tomAHto?” “have you heard of the word rangy[*], pron. RANG-y not RANGE-y? If so, where did you grow up and what does it mean to you?” and so on. At the end of the project they sent me the spelling dictionary as a thank-you.
At first I thought a dictionary without any definitions in it was a bit pointless, and it hung around my office for a year or so before I found the love. But now it is love, oh yes it is. And yes, I am a geek.
*: turns out this one is a total Canadianism: “rangy” is that hyper, unpleasant state kids reach after several days indoors, as you will know if you grew up in southern Ontario and I think parts of the prairies.