Language & Grammar discussion

89 views
Grammar Central > Death of the Print Dictionary?

Comments Showing 1-25 of 25 (25 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Lopez | 530 comments The Telegraph today announced the "death of the print dictionary." Thoughts?


message 2: by Arminius (new)

Arminius I can say that I prefer to read printed material except when it comes to the dictionary. http://dictionary.reference.com/ is one of my favorite sites.


message 3: by Ken (new)

Ken | 18409 comments Mod
I still prefer my Webster's Seventh (by now I suppose they're way past that edition) for a handy go-to guide. I keep it by the computer here and love the thin pages. In fact, I'm pretty good at almost opening randomly to the exact page I need (it's all in the wrist). Some words I look up so often (like sensuous vs. sensual) that I even know where on the page they hide out.

It's weird how certain words -- their definitions sometimes, their spellings other times -- just won't stick and require look up after look up.

Hi, Arminius (Newbie?). You look a heck of a lot like Starsky (or is it Hutch)?


message 4: by Debbie, sardonic princess of cheerfulness (new)

Debbie (sardonicprincessofcheerfulness) | 6387 comments Mod
Well..... I just had a look at it. I can see it would have some practical uses...but I would be wary of using it in a school unless it were policed obsessively for misuse and inaccuracies.
I think I would still rather have a 'hardcopy' in the classroom or on the bookshelf at home for quick reference. (Who has time to watch videos!? Not me!)


message 5: by Skylar (new)

Skylar Burris (skylarburris) | 2 comments I still use mine on occasion. I have to admit, however, that it's finally time to get rid of the 1980's set of Funk & Wagnalls Encyclopedias and just use the computer. I've confessed to myself that it's sheer Ludditism, hanging on to those things.


message 6: by Old-Barbarossa (new)

Old-Barbarossa I encourage you all to check out the Blackadder edisode with Dr Johnson and Baldrick's "magnificent octopus".
Agree with NE...sensuous vs. sensual, affect vs. effect etc.
Have a fairly chunky Collins on the shelf in front of me which does for most occasions.


message 7: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Lopez | 530 comments Barbarossa -- Love the Black Adder episode!!! Thanks for reminding me of it! Sheer genius.


message 8: by M.D. (last edited Oct 06, 2008 05:03AM) (new)

M.D. (mdbenoit) I use online dictionaries extensively since Firefox, the browser I use, has a search feature integrated into it, especially for translation dictionaries (I use French, Italian, and Spanish).

I still, however, use print dictionaries. There is something to say about using them in book form, mainly because I'll sometimes look for a word then move on to another one from the definition I read. It seems easier to do so when it's on paper.

I also have two visual dictionaries for specific descriptions of gizmos (important in my kind of work), a couple of slang dictionaries, dictionaries on art, music, antiques, houses, mythology, etc. It's easier to reach for a print dictionary than researching everything online.


message 9: by Arminius (new)

Arminius Ginnie (message 9),

I like your dictionary but the one I use has tabs at the top where you can easily transfer to the thesaurus.
I often look for alternative words.


message 10: by Peter (new)

Peter Pier | 45 comments I like my Webster´s and other dictionaries in print.
Online translators are bound to fail, at least for the time being- you can´t tell a program how to hit the right diction.
On the hardsf-group we made some experiments for the fun of it, German into English and vice-versa, and the results were catastrophic (though hillarious).


message 11: by Rob (last edited Nov 23, 2009 03:26AM) (new)

Rob Young | 4 comments I haven't used a print dictionary in quite a while now. I tend to use 'define: foobar' in Google but being English, I have to be careful about American 'misspellings' sneaking in.

I think the potential for digital dictionaries is amazing but no one seems to have really joined the dots very well. I'd like to be able to look up a word, find synonyms for it, words that rhyme with it, quotations and aphorisms that it appears in, all in one place.

Although, if I'm honest, my most used philological reference is still my dad. Only last week I texted him demanding hard words for a drunken spelling competition I'd managed to get myself involved with on the train home from London.


message 12: by R.a. (new)

R.a. (brasidas1) | 4 comments No, no, no, no . . . No.



message 13: by Ken (new)

Ken | 18409 comments Mod
Way, way, way, way... Way!


message 14: by Debbie, sardonic princess of cheerfulness (new)

Debbie (sardonicprincessofcheerfulness) | 6387 comments Mod
Electronic dictionaries have their place in some cases....I had an extremely bright girl in my class this year who was slightly autistic. I needed to let her use online dictionaries because she became hopelessly distracted from the task at hand if she used a print copy......too many words available at once.....online you get one word and everything about it on one screen.


message 15: by Savvy (new)

Savvy  (savvysuzdolcefarniente) | 1456 comments Very good point Debbie...different strokes for different folks example!


message 16: by Ken (new)

Ken | 18409 comments Mod
Yes, yes, yes, yes... Yes. (I'm feeling ambivalent today.)


message 17: by Carol (new)

Carol | 10399 comments I like the old ink and paper. But I do use the on-line when I am say ,on-line. Maybe the big tomes will become obsolete. I have the OE with the magnifier, plus a few other dictionaries.


message 18: by Ruth (last edited Dec 07, 2009 10:06AM) (new)

Ruth | 15876 comments Mod
I have the infamous Webster's Third Unabridged in the living room and Webster's Collegiate 11th within reach when I sit at the computer. But most of the time now I just put the word followed by "definition" into Google. I'm lazy, and the print is bigger.


message 19: by Carol (new)

Carol | 10399 comments Ah yes the bane of many years! Bad eyesight. I just bought a new dictionary with a cd that I can install on my computer, I haven't done it as yet.


message 20: by [deleted user] (new)



Collins English, never without it. Compelling stuff..


message 21: by Carol (new)

Carol | 10399 comments I just loaded the Webster's New World Dictionary on to my desktop, after months of dilly dallying.


message 22: by Ken (new)

Ken | 18409 comments Mod
I'm dated goods, still using my Webster's Seventh New (Editor's Note: Ha!) Collegiate Dictionary. By now I think I know some of the guide words by heart.


message 23: by Cecily (new)

Cecily | 175 comments When I'm using my laptop, I always have Oxford Reference Online open. At other times, I always revert to a big chunk of paper.


message 24: by grebrim (new)

grebrim | 155 comments I've just purchased Oxford's Dictionary of English, made out of dead trees. I don't really collect dictionaries, but I like to have at least one reference on paper in the house for every language.


message 25: by Ken (new)

Ken | 18409 comments Mod
It's a wonder they don't go out of business at the rate folks don't buy them. Mine is some 30 years old -- nearly as old as me! (Really. You can look it up.)


back to top