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Erin McKean redefines the dictionary

Erin McKean redefines the dictionary

Related:  Lexicology

Wordnik’s Online Dictionary - No Arbiters, Please Not Wordnik, the vast online dictionary. No modern-day Samuel Johnson or Noah Webster ponders each prospective entry there. Instead, automatic programs search the Internet, combing the texts of news feeds, archived broadcasts, the blogosphere, Twitter posts and dozens of other sources for the raw material of Wordnik citations, says Erin McKean, a founder of the company. Then, when you search for a word, Wordnik shows the information it has found, with no editorial tinkering.

History of the OED The Oxford English Dictionary has been the last word on words for over a century. But, as with a respected professor or admired parent, we count on its wisdom and authority without thinking much about how it was acquired. What is the history of the Oxford English Dictionary? Exploring its origins and development will give new insight into this extraordinary, living document. How it began When the members of the Philological Society of London decided, in 1857, that existing English language dictionaries were incomplete and deficient, and called for a complete re-examination of the language from Anglo-Saxon times onward, they knew they were embarking on an ambitious project. Google – The first Google image for every word in the dictionary If a picture says more than a thousand words – and current internet dynamics tend to agree – what would a visual guide to the English vocabulary, contemporary and ‘webresentative’, look like? Ben West and Felix Heyes, two artists and designers from London (UK), found out when they replaced the 21,000 words found in your everyday dictionary with whatever shows up first for each word in Google’s image search. Behold Google – a 1240 page behemoth of JPGs, GIFs and PNGs in alphabetical order.

Online Etymology Dictionary bias (n.) 1520s, from French biais "slant, slope, oblique," also figuratively, "expedient, means" (13c., originally in Old French a past participle adjective, "sideways, askance, against the grain"), of unknown origin, probably from Old Provençal biais, with cognates in Old Catalan and Sardinian; possibly from Vulgar Latin *(e)bigassius, from Greek epikarsios "athwart, crosswise, at an angle," from epi- "upon" + karsios "oblique," from PIE *krs-yo-, from root *(s)ker- (1) "to cut" (see shear (v.)). It became a noun in Old French. "[A] technical term in the game of bowls, whence come all the later uses of the word" [OED]. Transferred sense of "predisposition, prejudice" is from 1570s in English. For what a man had rather were true he more readily believes.

Transitional Words and Phrases Robert Harris Version Date: December 16, 2013 Transitional words and phrases provide the glue that holds ideas together in writing. They provide coherence (that hanging together, making sense as a whole) by helping the reader to understand the relationship between ideas, and they act as signposts that help the reader follow the movement of the discussion. Transitional expressions, then, can be used between sentences, between paragraphs, or between entire sections of a work. The Role of a Dictionary Draft is a series about the art and craft of writing. When it happens I feel as if I have stepped into a Far Side cartoon. I am a magazine editor, and the galley of an article will come back from a proofreader with a low-frequency word circled and this comment in the margin: “Does this word even exist?”

The true story of 'true' - Gina Cooke Etymology is an area of linguistic science; it's the study of the origin of words and the ways in which their meanings and usages have changed over time. The etymology of a specific word traces the historical development of its meaning. Etymological study relies on attested forms -- that is, words as they were attested in writing throughout history. Because of this reliance on attested (written) forms, the study of English etymology helps explain why some words are written the way they are. Neil Ramsden - Morphology Micro-site * We're aiming to create paid-for versions of Word Microscope and Mini Matrix-Maker, but demonstration and test versions can be used for free. Welcome to the morphology micro-site. It has information on how English words are built up and interactive web-tools to try out. Use this page,, as a bookmark in your own browser or when quoting this site to other people, even if you quote other specific pages as well such as the Word Searcher.

Slang — language at its most human Slang is probably as old as human language, though the first slang dictionaries only started popping up in the 16th century. But nothing has been a boon for slang lexicography like the digital age, as the searchability of newspaper databases has allowed the past to be explored like never before. For fans of English at its rawest, the recent arrival of the online version of Green’s Dictionary of Slang is a major event. It’s also a reminder that slang — for all its sleaze and attitude — is just as susceptible to careful research as anything else. Advertisement