Topic : Dictionaries
Dictionaries in the Age of Google
September 8, 2009
Do we still need dictionaries in the age of Google? That's the question posed by Julia Angwin in the Wall Street Journal's "Decoder" blog. Read her investigation here.
Exploring the pathways of our lexicon
August 25, 2009By Ben Zimmer
The makers of the critically acclaimed TV drama "Mad Men" pride themselves on their meticulous attention to authentic period detail, lovingly recreating the early 1960s world of Madison Avenue admen. The show's prop masters are charged with getting every little thing right, from the prices on receipts to the secretaries' restrictive undergarments. So it's always a bit of a surprise to discover an anachronism lurking on the "Mad Men" set. The most recent episode featured one such historical goof, though only die-hard dictionary buffs would have noticed. Continue reading...
Behind the Dictionary
Lexicographers Talk About Language
July 13, 2009
As Major League Baseball heads into the All-Star break, we're taking advantage of the mid-season breather to think about the rich language of baseball. We talked to Paul Dickson, the sport's great lexicographer, about the monumental Dickson Baseball Dictionary. Recently published in its third edition, the dictionary has grown into a thousand-page tome of unprecedented breadth and scope. In the first part of our two-part interview, Dickson explains how his dictionary encompasses the whole history of baseball, from the early days of "protoball" to the latest statistical advances. Continue reading...
The OED is All a-Twitter
July 7, 2009
The lexicographers at the Oxford English Dictionary are plumbing a new source for language use: Twitter. Hear how the OED is making use of ephemeral "tweets" from Editor at Large Jesse Sheidlower, on the public radio program Future Tense.
June 19, 2009
When you're in need of guidance about a word or meaning, do you first turn to a dictionary or a thesaurus? New York Times columnist William Safire considers the relative merits in his latest "On Language" column. Safire doesn't just look at print references: the Visual Thesaurus gets a nice mention too!