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Why use dictionaries in the age of internet search?

I can’t remember my age when I first learned the language display (Definition of words) and Implications (Word suggestions). However, I remember feeling a little betrayed by the idea that there was an entire layer of language that the dictionary couldn’t fully convey. Like most young people, I enjoyed learning, but I thought it was what I would end up doing. At some age I thought I would need to know everything. Understanding the nuances of language seemed like an obstacle to that goal.

It wasn’t until I graduated from university that I realized that there was no comprehensive knowledge, and I enjoyed reading it. Curiosity led me, not desperate perfection. I started looking at dictionaries that were inaccurate as they were, as a field guide to language life. Examining the words I encountered in the wild admitted that there were many things I didn’t know and didn’t feel more like a failure than the opportunity to discover.

I appreciate a copy of the 1954 Webster’s New International Dictionary, Second Edition, which I picked up on the street near my Brooklyn apartment a few years ago. Its 3,000 pages (India paper, with a marble front edge) are separated by a thumb index. I keep it open and lonely on the countertop. This is the way dictionaries are usually found in libraries. I often consult during Scrabble evening games and reading magazines at noon. I mainly read novels in bed at night, so when I come across an unfamiliar word, I listen to the bottom of the page with my dog’s ears and hurry to look up the word. Articles, podcasts, other books, and even occasional conversations, the world of language seems to shrink to the size of a small town when it comes to these new words of quest for patterns. Dictionaries enhance my senses, almost like certain mind-changing substances. Dictionaries direct my attention to conversations with languages. They make me wonder what else I’m blind to because I haven’t taught myself to notice them yet.Recently discovered specimens include: Orrery, “A mechanical model devised to represent the movement of the Earth and the Moon (and sometimes planets) around the Sun, usually a clockwork.” In the Oxford English Dictionary, the word is a copy of the first machine around 1700. It is also written that it comes from the fourth Earl of Orrery, which was created. Obviously not. Are you satisfied? deeply.

In the dictionary, unknown words become a solvable mystery. Why leave them to guesswork?

Wikipedia and Google will answer your questions with more questions and open pages of information you never asked for. However, dictionaries are built on general knowledge and use simple words to explain more complex words. You can use it as if you were prying an oyster instead of falling into a rabbit hole. Unknown words become a solvable mystery. Why leave them to guesswork? Would you like to look up the dictionary and feel the immediate satisfaction of pairing contexts and definitions? Dictionaries reward you for paying attention to both what you consume and your own curiosity. They are the gateway to some sort of irrational and childish impulse. know What I had before learning became a duty, not a game. I’m most amused by words that never mean what they thought they meant.favorite cygnet.. This has nothing to do with rings or stationery. (It’s a young swan.)

Of course, there are different types of dictionaries. The way they have grown over time reminds us of how wasteful it is to approach language as something that can be fully understood and contained. Samuel Johnson English DictionaryPublished in 1755, defined only 40,000 words. Proposed by the Philological Society of London in 1857 and completed over 70 years later, the original OED contained over 400,000 entries. The world of Merriam-Webster Noah Webster’s English American Dictionary, Published in 1828. Edited by Webster alone for over 20 years, it contains 70,000 words, nearly one-fifth of which was previously undefined. Websters in contact with founding fathers like Benjamin Franklin and John Adams saw lexicography as an act of patriotism. He believed that it was necessary to establish American spelling and definitional standards in order to consolidate the cultural identity of a young country separate from the cultural identity of Britain.

Perhaps because of Webster’s enthusiasm for rules, dictionaries have long had an unfair reputation as language mediators as a tool used to limit the scope of expression. But dictionaries do not create languages ​​— people do.take dilettante: The superficial meaning of this word is a modern invention. Noah Webster’s aforementioned American dictionary defines it as “a person who enjoys promoting science or art.” OED cites a relationship with Latin verbs delectare, Means “pleasing or pleasing”. Being a diletant once meant driving your interest in a field that was given love and curiosity. For me, the dictionary is the gateway to such an uncalculated knowledge search. They remind me that pampering your curiosity is just as important as paying attention when it comes to learning. After all, isn’t curiosity really another form of attention? Following curiosity, rather than breaking it, is one of the best ways to feel connected to more than what is in front of you.


Rachel del Valle is a freelance writer whose work has been published in GQ and Real Life Magazine.

Why use dictionaries in the age of internet search?

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