Problems with dictionaries, Humanities

Dictionaries : Some Problems

According to one estimate "every minute of every day including Sunday, six people buy an Oxford dictionary'''. This only shows the usefulness of dictionary as a reference source. Yet to get full amount of help from a dictionary one must try to
acquaint oneself with the peculiarities of different dictionaries.

Spelling: One major difficulty in the way of use of a dictionary is looking up words with incorrect spelling. Slight variations in remembered and actual spelling will result into disappointment.

Meaning: A word may carry more than one meaning, some archaic, others common. There are dictionaries which place common meaning first, whereas some dictionaries arrange various meanings in chronological order. A word may have two opposite meaning (chiffed: pleased, displeased) and a small dictionary may restrict itself to only one meaning. Where a word has both a popular meaning and, as a term, technical meaning, care should be taken in looking in the context of use before opening a dictionary.

New Words: Languages like human society are undergoing continuous change. New words are coined each day. No standard dictionary can keep pace with such fast movement. English language is better served on this count with Barnhart Dictionary Companion, a quarterly publication updating general dictionaries.

Usage : Words undergo change in meaning. Usage is one of the most delicate features of language. Geographical areas, Cultural groups, closed societies (of anti social elements) class of people, all affect the meaning of a word. Thus to study the context of use and looking up a proper dictionary of slang, euphemism, colloquial use will alone solve problem. 

Innovative compilations have been attempted to meet unconventional approach of dictionary users: Ologies and isms, (Detroit, Gale, 1986) is a dictionary of 15000 words that end in ology, ism, ics, graphy, metry, archy, cider philia, phobia, mancy, et al. It helps users who have an idea theory and want to look up its meaning. Benrtein's Reverse Dictionary or Roget'.s Thesaurus type compilations are also helpful in such situations.

Posted Date: 10/31/2012 7:29:09 AM | Location : United States







Related Discussions:- Problems with dictionaries, Assignment Help, Ask Question on Problems with dictionaries, Get Answer, Expert's Help, Problems with dictionaries Discussions

Write discussion on Problems with dictionaries
Your posts are moderated
Related Questions
Glossary The word `glossary' originates from the Latin word `glossarium' meaning `a collection of words peculiar to a field of knowledge'. Each entry in a glossary is known

Crusaders and Muslims in the 12th Century -Along with the official reason of the crusade achieved, in the recovery of Jerusalem and the Holy Sepulchre, attention becomes a difficul

LIBRARY CATALOGUE AND THE FIVE LAWS OF LIBRARY SCIENCE   The Five Laws. of Library Science are a set of basic guiding principles for designing and operating a library or a libr

UKMARC Format   British National Bibliography had shown active interest in the possibilities of MARC from 1966. Cooperative efforts with Aslib and OSTI within the country and w

What responsibilities do we owe our fellow human beings? On a individual level? On a social level?

Word arrangement and word treatment In most of the dictionaries, entries are arranged in alphabetical order. The arrangement of the vocabulary is either letter-by-letter or wo

Question 1 Discuss the significance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Question 2 Critically assess the provisions relating to the implementation of International C

Differentiate Moral and Ethics?  MORAL:  Refers only to personal behavior. Refers to any aspect of human action Social conventions about right or wrong condu

Distinguish values from ethics and culture Values are mostly related to individuals and since they are related to justice, they remain the some for every one. E.g. truth, empat

Evaluation of Encyclopaedias A good and useful collection of general and special encyclopaedias form the backbone for the reference work in any library. The strong collectio