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Dictionaries: What's in a Word?
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Dictionaries: What's in a Word?

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    • 1.  
    • 2.
      •   Interactive Poll
        • How often do you consult a dictionary?
        • A. Very often
        • B. Every so often
        • C. Rarely
        • D. Never
        • To cast your vote, click on one of the lettered icons at the top left of your screen.
    • 3.   What is a dictionary? Evaluating dictionaries Selecting dictionaries Using dictionaries Recommended dictionaries
    • 4. What is a dictionary? Dictionaries are used to define words; to verify spelling, syllabication, or pronunciation; to check on usage; or to determine the etymological history of a word. To some degree, they also standardize the language based on current usage. Isn’t that a lot like an encyclopedia? Dictionaries are about words, encyclopedias are about things. Bopp and Smith (2001, p. 409) Landau (2001)
    • 5. How do dictionaries differ?
        • Generally, dictionaries tend to be descriptive, reflecting how language is used in society, or prescriptive, advocating for “proper” academic usage.
        • Most modern dictionaries depict language as it is commonly used.
        • Dictionaries published throughout time can provide a fascinating road-map of the development of language. Dictionaries can even reflect political change.
      Bopp and Smith (2001, p. 409)
    • 6. Defining time in dictionaries Landau (2001) Scholars should be interested to know that dictionaries may be designed with different representations of time:
              • Diachronic (Historical)
              • Synchronic (One period of time)
    • 7. Classifying dictionaries Landau (2001) Dictionaries can be classified according to linguist scholar Yakov Malkiel’s typology.
      • Range
      • Perspective
      • Presentation
    • 8.   What is a dictionary? Evaluating dictionaries Selecting dictionaries Using dictionaries Recommended dictionaries
    • 9.
      •   Evaluation
          • When checking out printed dictionaries, evaluate their format, scope, authority, accuracy, and currency.
      •  
          • Internet sources are evaluated the same as printed.
    • 10.
      •   Format
      •  
        • How is the dictionary arranged? Is it easy to use? 
        • An unabridged dictionary contains between 300,000 and 600,000 entries or words.
      •  
        • An abridged (desk) dictionary should contain between 50,000 and 200,000 entries.
      •  
        • What other features are included?
      Bopp and Smith (2001, p. 411)
    • 11.
      •   Scope
            • The scope of a dictionary is stated in the introduction.
      •  
            • What does the dictionary really cover?
    • 12.
      •   Authority
          • Author and reputation
      •  
          • Some of the most well known authoritative dictionary publishers are Merriam-Webster, Houghton Mifflin, Oxford University Press and Random House.
      Bopp and Smith (2001, p. 412)
    • 13.
      •   Accuracy
        • Spelling
        • aero plane vs. air plane
      •  
        • Definition 
        • Useless definition
          • Evaluating: to evaluate
      Bopp and Smith (2001, p. 412)
    • 14.
      • Currency
      •  
        • Is the dictionary current or up-to-date? 
        • Slang terms- Bling
      •  
        • Technical jargon- Controlled vocabulary
    • 15.
      •   Comparing Dictionaries
          • Pick a group of common words.
      •  
          • Compare the "treatment" the dictionaries has given them.
      •  
      •  
      •  
      •  
      Bopp and Smith (2001, p. 412)
    • 16.   Dictionary.com brief⋅ly [breff-lee] – adverb   1. for a short duration: He stopped over briefly in Chicago. 2. in a few words: Let me explain briefly. 3. in a brief manner; quickly or brusquely: She nodded briefly and began to speak. Origin: 1250–1300; see BRIEF, -LY   Merriam-Webster Online Main Entry:brief·ly Pronunciation: ˈbrē-flē Function: adverb Date:14th century 1 a : in a brief way < briefly mentioned> b : in brief <the food, briefly , was awful>2 : for a short time < briefly married>
    • 17.   What is a dictionary? Evaluating dictionaries Selecting dictionaries Using dictionaries Recommended dictionaries
    • 18. Selecting a dictionary
      • Select the dictionary for the proper audience or collection
      • Types of dictionaries
      • Search strategies
      Bopp and Smith (2001, p. 413)
    • 19. Selecting an audience
      • The library users’ needs
      • Age and condition of existing dictionaries in the collection
      • Acquisitions budget
      Consider this: Bopp and Smith (2001, p. 413)
    • 20. Selecting a dictionary – Types of dictionaries Unabridged dictionaries Bopp and Smith (2001, p. 414-415)
    • 21. Selecting a dictionary – Types of dictionaries Abridged dictionaries Bopp and Smith (2001, p. 417)
    • 22. Selecting a dictionary – Types of dictionaries Etymological dictionaries Bopp and Smith (2001, p. 416)
    • 23. Selecting a dictionary – Types of dictionaries School-level dictionaries Bopp and Smith (2001, p. 418-419)
    • 24. Selecting a dictionary – Types of dictionaries Foreign-language/English-language dictionaries Bopp and Smith (2001, p. 419)
    • 25. Selecting a dictionary – Types of dictionaries Thesauri and usage guides Bopp and Smith (2001, p. 422, 424)
    • 26. Search Strategies
      • Internet dictionaries versus traditional dictionaries
      • Choosing the proper dictionaries to optimize the users’ needs
      • Buying a dictionary
      Bopp and Smith (2001, p. 413-414)
    • 27.   What is a dictionary? Evaluating dictionaries Selecting dictionaries Using dictionaries Recommended dictionaries
    • 28.   How to use a dictionary - How to look up a word
        • Firstly, think of a word to look up.
        • Open the dictionary to the closest spelling of the word or your best guess.
        • Then you will either turn backwards or forward throughout the dictionary.
        • Guidewords are found at the top of either page.
          • The word on the left page is the first word found on that page.
          • The word found on the right page is the last word on that page.
          • This provides the range to guide you in finding the word.
      Using a Dictionary (Library.thinkquest.org) Merriam-Webster Inc. (1988)
    • 29. How to use a dictionary - A closer look at definitions
      • Can you decipher the different parts of the definition?
      • A good dictionary should provide an exhaustive definition with the components that will be explained in the forthcoming slides.
      • dic⋅tion⋅ar⋅y
      • /ˈdɪkʃəˌnɛri/ [dik-shuh-ner-ee]
      • – noun, plural -ar⋅ies.
        • a book containing a selection of the words of a language, usually arranged alphabetically, giving information about their meanings, pronunciations, etymologies, inflected forms, etc., expressed in either the same or another language; lexicon; glossary: a dictionary of English; a Japanese-English dictionary.
      • Origin:
      • 1520–30; < ML dictiōnārium, dictiōnārius < LL dictiōn- word (see diction ) + -ārium, -ārius –ary
      Using a Dictionary (Library.thinkquest.org) Merriam-Webster Inc. (1988)
    • 30. Main entry
      • dic⋅tion⋅ar⋅y
      • /ˈdɪkʃəˌnɛri/ [dik-shuh-ner-ee]
      • – noun, plural -ar⋅ies.
        • a book containing a selection of the words of a language, usually arranged alphabetically, giving information about their meanings, pronunciations, etymologies, inflected forms, etc., expressed in either the same or another language; lexicon; glossary: a dictionary of English; a Japanese-English dictionary.
      • Origin:
      • 1520–30; < ML dictiōnārium, dictiōnārius < LL dictiōn- word (see diction ) + -ārium, -ārius –ary
      The main entry is the word that you are looking for a definition. Some words have alternate or variant spellings. Using a Dictionary (Library.thinkquest.org) Merriam-Webster Inc. (1988)
    • 31. Part of speech
      • dic⋅tion⋅ar⋅y
      • /ˈdɪkʃəˌnɛri/ [dik-shuh-ner-ee]
      • – noun , plural -ar⋅ies.
        • a book containing a selection of the words of a language, usually arranged alphabetically, giving information about their meanings, pronunciations, etymologies, inflected forms, etc., expressed in either the same or another language; lexicon; glossary: a dictionary of English; a Japanese-English dictionary.
      • Origin:
      • 1520–30; < ML dictiōnārium, dictiōnārius < LL dictiōn- word (see diction ) + -ārium, -ārius –ary
      The part of speech justifies the word’s inclusion in the dictionary. Using a Dictionary (Library.thinkquest.org) Merriam-Webster Inc. (1988)
    • 32. Pronunciation
      • dic⋅tion⋅ar⋅y
      • /ˈdɪkʃəˌnɛri/ [dik-shuh-ner-ee]
      • – noun, plural -ar⋅ies.
        • a book containing a selection of the words of a language, usually arranged alphabetically, giving information about their meanings, pronunciations, etymologies, inflected forms, etc., expressed in either the same or another language; lexicon; glossary: a dictionary of English; a Japanese-English dictionary.
      • Origin:
      • 1520–30; < ML dictiōnārium, dictiōnārius < LL dictiōn- word (see diction ) + -ārium, -ārius –ary
      Indicated by / / Shows how to pronounce the word including variant pronunciations. Using a Dictionary (Library.thinkquest.org) Merriam-Webster Inc. (1988)
    • 33. Plurals
      • dic⋅tion⋅ar⋅y
      • /ˈdɪkʃəˌnɛri/ [dik-shuh-ner-ee]
      • – noun, plural -ar⋅ies .
        • a book containing a selection of the words of a language, usually arranged alphabetically, giving information about their meanings, pronunciations, etymologies, inflected forms, etc., expressed in either the same or another language; lexicon; glossary: a dictionary of English; a Japanese-English dictionary.
      • Origin:
      • 1520–30; < ML dictiōnārium, dictiōnārius < LL dictiōn- word (see diction ) + -ārium, -ārius –ary
      Explains when plural changes word – such as y to i Or when noun is irregular Using a Dictionary (Library.thinkquest.org) Merriam-Webster Inc. (1988)
    • 34. Order of sense
      • dic⋅tion⋅ar⋅y
      • /ˈdɪkʃəˌnɛri/ [dik-shuh-ner-ee]
      • – noun, plural -ar⋅ies.
        • a book containing a selection of the words of a language, usually arranged alphabetically, giving information about their meanings, pronunciations, etymologies, inflected forms, etc., expressed in either the same or another language; lexicon; glossary: a dictionary of English; a Japanese-English dictionary.
      • Origin:
      • 1520–30; < ML dictiōnārium, dictiōnārius < LL dictiōn- word (see diction ) + -ārium, -ārius –ary
      Numbers indicate the first known “ sense of the word.” This is to say number 1 was known before 2. However it does not mean that 2 was derived from 1. Using a Dictionary (Library.thinkquest.org) Merriam-Webster Inc. (1988)
    • 35. Cross Reference
      • dic⋅tion⋅ar⋅y
      • /ˈdɪkʃəˌnɛri/ [dik-shuh-ner-ee]
      • – noun, plural -ar⋅ies.
        • a book containing a selection of the words of a language, usually arranged alphabetically, giving information about their meanings, pronunciations, etymologies, inflected forms, etc., expressed in either the same or another language; lexicon; glossary: a dictionary of English; a Japanese-English dictionary.
      • Origin:
      • 1520–30; < ML dictiōnārium, dictiōnārius < LL dictiōn- word ( see diction ) + -ārium, -ārius –ary
      Cross reference provides more information such as synonyms, cognate and inflection. Using a Dictionary (Library.thinkquest.org) Merriam-Webster Inc. (1988)
    • 36. Miscellaneous
        • Etymology can be found between [ ]
        • Dates in parenthesis is the earliest recorded use in English.
        • “ Obs” indicates a word is obsolete.
        • “ Chiefly” indicates regional label or “chiefly” followed by other English-speaking country
      Using a Dictionary (Library.thinkquest.org) Merriam-Webster Inc. (1988)
    • 37.   What is a dictionary? Evaluating dictionaries Selecting dictionaries Using dictionaries Recommended dictionaries
    • 38. Recommended dictionaries
      • Unabridged
      • Webster’s Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged
      • Abridged
      • Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of English Usage
      • Etymological
      • Oxford English Dictionary (OED)
    • 39. Recommended dictionaries
      • Desk
      • American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (4 th ed., 2000)
      • High School-and Elementary School-Level
      • American Heritage Concise Dictionary (3rd Ed.)
    • 40. Learn more and share online:
    • 41. References Bopp, Richard E. & Smith, Linda C. (2001). Reference and information services: An introduction (3 rd ed.). Englewood: Libraries Unlimited. Landau, Sidney I.  (2001). Dictionaries: The art and craft of lexicography . Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press. Merriam-Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary (9 th ed.). (1988). Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster Inc. Random House’s unabridged dictionary (1998). New York: Random House. EZine Articles (2009). Evaluating Dictionaries . Retrieved March 15 th , 2009 from http://ezinearticles.com Using a Dictionary (n.d.). Retrieved March 13th, 2009 from http://library.thinkquest.org/5585/dictionary.htm
    • 42. Video References Concise Random House Webster’s American sign language dictionary . (2002). New York: Bantam Dell Publishing Group.   Dictionary of pseudonyms: 11,000 assumed names and their origins , (4th ed.). (2004). Jefferson City, NC: McFarland & Company.   Harrap's Spanish and English business dictionary. (2005). USA: McGraw-Hill Publishing.   Merriam-Webster’s dictionary and thesaurus . (2007). Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster Mass Market.
    • 43. Video References Oxford dictionary of biology . (1996). New York: Oxford University Press.   Oxford rhyming dictionary . (2004). New York: Oxford University Press.   Urban Dictionary: Fularious street slang defined . (2005). Riverside, NJ: Andrews McMeel Publishing.
    • 44.
      •  
      • Video acknowledgement
      • Team 3 thanks the San Francisco Public Library for use of their facility during the production of our introductory video. 
    • 45.  

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