Review: Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English online


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Presentation based on the review about the LDOCE. I have added lots of text as this is not going to be presented orally.

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Review: Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English online

  1. 1. Aintzane Cabañes Martínez<br />The LongmanDictionary of ContemporaryEnglish is a veryusefulmonolingualdictionaryavailableonthe net. I cameacrossthislanguageresourcewhenone of theEnglishteachersrecommendedit at thebeginning of thecourse. Thistoolisnotonlyhelpful in ordertofindmanywordsthat are notunderstoodwhenreading, butitisalsoappropriatefortranslationtasks as itoffersveryaccuratedefinitions and examples. Evenifthe LDOCE isthoughtfor non nativeEnglishspeakers, itmayalsobeinterestingfornativespeakers as itoffers a full range of features.<br />LDOCE<br />
  2. 2. The website of the dictionary is owned and operated by Pearson Education which is part of the global media and education group Pearson and has different English language publishing programmes all over the world. Moreover, the LDOCE is powered by IDM (XML Content Management Software) a French company which provides software development services to electronic information users and suppliers.<br />The dictionary, as all Longman dictionaries, is compiled using the Longman Corpus Network which offers a huge database of 330 million words taken from a wide range of sources from the real life.<br />Background<br />
  3. 3. How to use the Longman Dictionary Online:<br />The online version of the Longman dictionary offers around 207000 words and their meaning, as well as 7000 references to either people, or places etc. Through the following slides, I will introduce a short usage of the tool.<br />
  4. 4. 1. Looking up a word <br />Thisversionisveryuseful and easyto use. Bytypingtheword in the search box and clicking OK wewillbeinstantlydirectedto a page whereallthedefinitionsfortheword are listed.<br />Theremayappear more thanoneoptionifthewordisused as more thanonepart of speech. Tomakethingseasier, thewordshownfirstisthemostused.<br />
  5. 5. 2. Howtohearthepronunciation of a certainword<br />Italsooffersthe pronunciation of thewordwhichisusefultounderstandthe International PhoneticAlphabet‘s symbols. In orderto listen tothepronunciation, wejusthavetoclickonthe speaker buttonswhichappearnexttotheexamplesentencestohearthem. Moreover, byclickingonthe speaker button at the top of theentrywewillbedirectedto a new window. Therewe can heartheheadwordpronouncedeither in British English or American English, and alsoalltheexamplesentencesforthatentry.<br />Whathappensifthewordwewanttocheckdoesnotappear? The online dictionaryoffers a spellcheckerwhichwillsuggestdifferentoptions similar totheonetyped.<br />
  6. 6.
  7. 7. 3. Searchingbytopic<br />Itisalsoimportanttopointoutthatthe online version has recentlymadeavailablethepossibility of looking up a wordbyclickingontopiclabel (whattheyhavecalled“TopicDictionary”). Thisishowthedictionarycreates a kind of net betweenwordswhichisreallyusefulfortheuser in ordertofollowtheconnectionsbetweenwordsveryeasily. Evenifwe are searchingfor a specificword, it can interestustosee similar words, orcompounds, etc. Thismaybeparticularlyusefulwhenwritinganessay as wemightbeusingwordsrelatedtothesametopic as in thefollowingexample. Wemightbeusingwordsrelatedto motor vehicles, orwordsconnectedwithtechnology.<br />
  8. 8. The dictionary also added the chance to see pictures of words through its “Dictionary pictures”.<br />Pictures<br />It has beensuggested in many cases thatthebestwaytolearn and rememberthemeaning of a wordisbypictures. Ourmemorytendstoremember more easilytheimage of a certainwordratherthanthewholeexplanation, thatiswhy I foundreallyinterestingthatthedictionaryisadjunctingtothemeaningthepicture of theword.<br />
  9. 9. PRACTICAL EXAMPLES<br />1. NOUNS<br />PHONE<br />
  10. 10. The dictionary first of all specifies if the word is countable or uncountable between brackets and in a green colour next to the word. <br />It also offers in some cases the picture which will appear to the right.<br /> Some words have several different meanings which are organized by their usage. The most used or most common meaning appears first next to the number in red. <br />In this example, the second meaning is accompanied by a similar word or a synonym which is shown between brackets and next to a symbol of equality in blue.<br /> Each meaning is followed by several examples where the word can be used, and each of those examples is preceded by a symbol which allows listening to the pronunciation. <br />Moreover, at the end of each meaning, if possible, the dictionary suggests in strong blue next to a row different words which are related to the word we have searched.<br />
  11. 11. PRACTICAL EXAMPLES<br />2. VERBS<br />SHOUT<br />
  12. 12. In contrasttotheexample of thenounsearch, whensearching a verb, thedictionarygoesdirectlytothefirstmeaning. Thisiswhen as withthenoun, itoffersthespecification of whetheritis a transitiveorintransitiveverb. Thisisshownafterthenumber of themeaning (in red) betweenbrackets and in green. In the case of verbsitalsogiveswordsthatseemtobesynonyms in blue and alsobetweenbrackets. It can alsobeappreciatedthatthere are some cases whenthedictionaryspecifieswhenitisused in British Englishor in American English in purpleitalics. Italsomakesclearwhenitis a phrasalverbnexttotheusage in light grey. Of course, thepronunciation of eachexampleisavailablebyclickingtothepronunciationiconwhichappearsbeforeit.<br />
  14. 14. Withadjectives, thedictionarygoesstraightintothe meanings alsoordereddependingtheirusage and aftertheircorrespondingnumber in red. In theprevioustwo cases, thetooloffered similar wordsorsynonymsnexttoeachmeaning (ifthere are synonyms). However, in the case of adjectives, it shows thepossibleantonyms orwordswiththeopposedmeaning. They are specifiedbetweenbrackets in blue and after a crossed symbol of equality. It has tobepointedoutthat at theend of theentry, thedictionaryoffers wordsformedwiththeadjectives; in theexampleit shows thatfrompolitewe can form politely byaddingthesuffix -lyindicatinganadverb, orwe can alsogetthenoun politeness byaddingthesuffix -ness. Italsooffersseveral examples withtheircorresponding pronunciations.<br />
  15. 15. PRACTICAL EXAMPLES<br />4. ADVERBS<br />QUICKLY<br />
  16. 16. This final example shows the search for an adverb. It does not show any other new feature that has not been mentioned in the previous examples. The meanings are ordered by the usages and all the examples offer the possibility of listening to them.<br />
  17. 17. Comparing the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English with the Urban Dictionary:<br />.<br />First of all, it has tobepointedoutthatthesetwodictionaries are completelydifferent as wewillappreciatewhenwefirstgetintotheir web page<br />
  18. 18. The LDOCE<br />The appearance of each online dictionaryiscompletelyopposed. The LDOCEappearstobe more clear, more organized, in otherwords, more sophisticated. Evenifit has some advertisements they are verywellputtogetherwiththecontent of thedictionary so thatitdoesnotdisturbwhenusingthetool; they are leftasideontherightorleftverywellorganized in columns and with a subtleframemarkingthe ad. Moreover, the page makesyourviewgostraightintothesearching box so thatthereis no possibilitytogetlost. Thesearching box appears in theupperpart of the page in themiddle and with a biggersize. Thetoolalsooffers a specifictabinsidethe page with specifications of theusage and veryusefulexamples as well as commonquestions.<br />
  19. 19. In contrast, the UrbanDictionary at a firstsightis more like a chaos. Itis full of advertisements in differentformats (colours, size, etc.), and thefirst page doesnot show thedictionaryitself, but a page with a list of thewords of theday (whichisalso a bit confusing). In ordertoaccessthedictionarythere are sometab at the top and wehavetoclick in thetab “dictionary”. Thatwaywewillbedirectedto a page whereforlooking up a wordwehavetosearch in the alphabet or in a smallsearching box in theupperparttotheright. Thisisnot a veryclear, organized and easyusage of a dictionary and itdoesnotevenoffer a page withkeysforusingitnoranykind of explanation.<br />
  20. 20. 1. NOUNS<br />PHONE<br />PRACTICAL EXAMPLES<br />
  21. 21. As it can beappreciated, theUrbanDictionaryfirst of alloffersseveralwordswhich are related tothewordwe are looking up. Theyappearoneaftertheother in smallblue boxes. Thenit shows thelist of meanings forthewordordereddependingon thedaytheywerepublished whichappears at theend of eachmeaningafterthename of thepersonwho has publishedtheentry. Eachmeaningis rated in favouroragainstbytheusers. Apartfromthemeaningitalsoofferssome example sentences of howthewordisused in context.<br />
  22. 22. 2.VERBS<br />SHOUT<br />PRACTICAL EXAMPLES<br />
  23. 23. Whensearching a verb thesamehappens, firstwe are offered a list of wordsconnected tothewordwe are lookingfor and thenthelist of meanings orderedall in thesameway. However, in this case, it can beappreciatedthatthemeaninggivenbytheUrbanDictionary and themeaningthatthe LDOCE giveshavenothingto do witheachother. TheonegivenbytheUrbanDictionaryreferstoanAustraliansayingwhiletheonegivenbythe LDOCE is more connectedtothegeneralized use of theverbshout. Thereisalsoan examplesentence tohelptheuserrealize in whichcontextisthewordused.<br />
  25. 25. In the case of the adjective, thetoolalsoincludesthealreadycitedlist of relatedwords in bluesmall boxes at the top and thenthepossible meanings fortheword, each of themratedbytheusers. In this particular case, evenifthemeaningisreferringtothesame idea thatthe LDOCE issuggesting, itisslightlydifferent. It can benoticedthattheUrbanDictionary’sdefinitionisnot as accurate as theonegivenbythe LDOCE whichis more complete, more formal and itisbetterexplained. Furthermore, the examples given are very simple and notveryhelpful.<br />
  26. 26. 4.ADVERBS<br />QUICKLY<br />PRACTICAL EXAMPLES<br />
  27. 27. Finally, thesearchforthe adverb shows thesamefeatures as in theprevious cases. However, thereis a tinydifference in this case, in contrasttothepreviousexamplesthisentry shows a specification of what type of word itis (adverb). And instead of givinganexamplesentenceitoffers a conversation wherethewordisused.<br />
  28. 28. Alltheimages are takenfromFlickrunder a creativecommonslicensebyattribution:<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />