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Notes (081) : Dictionary

For archive (Updated on February 12, 2019)

Flavors

Dictionaries come in various sizes and flavors. They include the following:

  • Hardcover
  • Softcover
  • Pocket sized
  • Desk top
  • Abridged
  • Unabridged
  • Student Edition
  • Learners’ Dictionary
  • Advanced Learners’ Dictionary
  • Technical Dictionary
  • Thesaurus (in Dictionary form)
  • On-line search for meaning and usage of words
  • Wiki-dictionary
  • Free Dictionary
  • OED (Oxford English Dictionary)
  • Chambers’ Dictionary
  • Merriam-Webster Dictionary
  • Jones’ Pronouncing Dictionary
  • English to Burmese Dictionary
  • Burmese to English Dictionary
  • Pali-English Dictionary
  • Pali-Burmese Dictionary
  • Pali-English-Burmese Dictionary

The dictionaries may cover the etymology (origin and evolution) of words and usage.

Lexicon

The old dictionaries are also known as Lexicon.

The compilers are known as Lexicographers.

Lexicon is an early card game for building words. 

Scrabble is a later and more popular word forming game. The word challenge in Scrabble is processed using a specified “Scrabble” Dictionary (e.g. Chambers or Jones’ Pronouncing Dictionary).

Dictionary and Thesaurus

One looks up a dictionary when one knows the word but is not sure of its meaning and usage.

One looks up a thesaurus when one has an idea or concept but needs to choose an appropriate word from a list of synonyms and antonyms.  Dr. Mark Roget compiled a thesaurus based on his classification scheme.

With the advent of computers and Internet, dictionaries are provided in most Word Processing Systems.

Visual Dictionary and Visual Thesaurus allows one to see the relations and links of words and concepts.

Vocabulary

An early study said that an average person learns 20 (or less) new words every year.

One can learn 300 (or more) new words every year by

  • subscribing to “Word of the Day” from Merriam-Webster
  • listening to “Word for the Wise” from NPR (National Public Radio)


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