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Monday, 7th September 2009

Are Dictionaries Becoming Obsolete?

From the Article:

Of course, there is plenty that dictionaries still do well. Online dictionaries provide most of the definition links that pop up in Google. Dictionaries are still good for obscure usages and etymologies. Dictionaries also can arbitrate disputes that arise during a game of Scrabble or late-night conversations.

[Snip]

Without relevant example sentences, dictionaries are crippled. Don R. McCreary, a linguistics professor at the University of Georgia, says that his studies show that student comprehension of dictionary definitions improves dramatically when multiple example sentences are provided.

Online, the situation is no better. Most free dictionary sites contain the same crammed definitions and lack of example sentences as their print cousins. Online definitions are also usually from older, out-of-print dictionaries and thus are often outdated. What's more, they are festooned with blinking flat-belly advertisements.

Source: Wall Street Journal
Hat Tip: Net-Gold


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