Merriam Webster adds 850 new words
Posted: 06 March 2018 05:30 PM   [ Ignore ]
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http://dailysignal.com/2018/03/06/merriam-webster-adds-slew-of-millennial-favorites-to-dictionary/

There doesn’t seem to be a time frame for new words to be added to dictionaries. Many of these entries seem to be vogue words barely a year or two old, and perhaps with an even shorter lifespan.

[ Edited: 06 March 2018 05:33 PM by Logophile ]
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Posted: 06 March 2018 06:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Dictionaries, at least the good ones like M-W, will have criteria that they use for inclusion, usually based on what the purpose of that dictionary is. Including vogue words isn’t, in and of itself, a bad thing. If a word gets widespread use over a short period, then it may still be important to include. In fact, it may be more important to include in certain respects for those how later encounter the word in older writing and have no idea what it means. Words with limited currency over a short period probably aren’t worth it, but something like dumpster fire, which is all over the place although it may disappear in a year or so, probably deserves inclusion.

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Posted: 07 March 2018 07:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Note that these words are being added to the online dictionary.  To me, at any rate, that carries a substantially less impressive imprimatur than putting them in an actual printed book.

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Posted: 07 March 2018 01:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Why so? It’s the editorial quality, not the media used to publish it, that’s important.

And there are distinct downsides to print dictionaries. They can’t be updated as often. They have to purge words to make room for new additions. (I guess this confers an imprimatur of sorts via exclusivity, but it means they’re less useful.) They have to severely constrain commentary to save space. (Again, that could be a plus in some cases, but usually that means they are less effective at conveying subtlety.) They can’t be accessed from anywhere. You can’t use full-text search with them. They’re more expensive to produce.

I’m not one to shout “print is dead,” as print is definitely superior for some things, but reference material isn’t one of them. At least, not for most uses dictionaries are put to. I’m sure there are some corner cases where a print dictionary would be preferable.

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Posted: 07 March 2018 03:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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And there are distinct downsides to print dictionaries.

I think, however, the upsides far outnumber the downsides. For instance, with print dictionaries one gets a thorough introductory section, ( editorial staff, pronunciation, a brief history of the English language, illustrations, orthography, explanatory notes, agenda section, abbreviations, forms of address, population of places, a pronouncing gazetteer, a pronouncing biographical dictionary

Online dictionaries don’t provide this information unless one does a search, which usually isn’t on the same webpage.

[ Edited: 07 March 2018 06:37 PM by Logophile ]
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Posted: 07 March 2018 05:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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The good ones do provide that introductory info, and it’s probably consulted online just about as often as it is in print, that is to say, almost never. The people that would use it already know it, and those that don’t know it, don’t realize it’s there. (Even in the print dictionaries.)

Most people don’t even know that there are differences between dictionaries. It’s just “the dictionary.”

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Posted: 07 March 2018 11:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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The people that would use it already know it, and those that don’t know it, don’t realize it’s there. (Even in the print dictionaries.)
Most people don’t even know that there are differences between dictionaries. It’s just “the dictionary.”

http://theweek.com/articles/462575/9-reasons-why-print-dictionaries-are-better-than-online-dictionaries

These are the reasons I prefer a print dictionary; however, I now predominately use online dictionaries because they’re a quicker go-to. Nevertheless, I always enjoy skimming through a print dictionary and for the reasons mentioned in the link; call me sentimental.

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Posted: 08 March 2018 02:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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With an on-line dictionary you can go directly to the word you want; with a print dictionary you have to thumb through the pages and can get way-laid en route.  Some would consider this latter a bug Some would consider it a feature.

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Posted: 08 March 2018 06:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Why so? It’s the editorial quality, not the media used to publish it, that’s important.

Important to you; I am not you.  To me, a physical book is a settled, permanent thing; an online site can be changed any time and disappear without notice.  I say all sorts of things on my blog that I wouldn’t say, or would say more carefully, in a book.  Of course I realize an online dictionary is not a blog and that it has careful editorial attention and high standards, but I still take it less seriously.  And I’ll bet you that if they do issue a new print edition they won’t include everything from the online version.

And there are distinct downsides to print dictionaries.

There are downsides to everything.  You sound like a lawyer for Big Online; I don’t have to be persuaded of the advantages of the internet, I use it constantly and wouldn’t be able to do my job without it, but there are downsides to it as well, and for reference works I like physical books, though of course I supplement them with online research.  When the power goes off we’ll see who laughs last!

I’m not one to shout “print is dead,” as print is definitely superior for some things, but reference material isn’t one of them. At least, not for most uses dictionaries are put to. I’m sure there are some corner cases where a print dictionary would be preferable.

Again, you sound like a lawyer or politician.  “The stuff I care about is really important, and the stuff you care about is marginal!” Why not just say print and online references each have their pluses and minuses, and each person will have different preferences and make different choices?

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Posted: 08 March 2018 06:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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I hasten to add that I often sound like a lawyer myself.  Don’t mind me, I just like vivid discussion!

Edit: Also, I’m editing a long, long article that is full of dates in UK style ("on 27 June 2011") which I have to laboriously change to US style ("on June 27, 2011"), so I’m feeling snappish.  Why can’t these authors follow directions??

[ Edited: 08 March 2018 06:30 AM by languagehat ]
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Posted: 08 March 2018 06:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Generally speaking—there are exceptions such as online facsimile editions like the DRAE “Autoridades"—printed dictionaries offer something of great value to me, something that’s missing from an online lookup.  That is the “open stacks” experience. I can look up a word in a book, and while I’m at page 456, scan and read other entries.  Some of these may be closely related to the word I came to learn about, while others will not be at all related, yet still interesting.

In translation work I use both printed books and online resources.  Some of my printed references are not available online, or can be viewed only with very costly subscriptions.  For some work, I find printed dictionaries faster than web sources. I have lots of desk space for lots of dictionaries, and only limited screen real estate when I want to compare sources without closing and opening tabs.
Don’t discount stylistic work preferences.  Don’t overlook tradeoffs of technology and cost.  And please don’t discount the value of open stack library browsing of reference materials.  Google is not always the best way to find what you don’t know exists.

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Posted: 08 March 2018 08:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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languagehat - 08 March 2018 06:24 AM

I’m editing a long, long article that is full of dates in UK style ("on 27 June 2011") which I have to laboriously change to US style ("on June 27, 2011")

Autocorrect is your friend.

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Posted: 08 March 2018 12:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Of course I realize an online dictionary is not a blog and that it has careful editorial attention and high standards, but I still take it less seriously. 

This is a key difference. For most dictionaries, including all the major, most respected ones, the online edition is now the standard. If a print dictionary is produced, and often it will not be, it is increasingly an afterthought. The idea that a digital edition of a dictionary is less authoritative or has a lesser imprimatur than its print counterpart is just wrong.

The same holds true for most scholarly work—but not for works produced for the general public. The online version of peer-reviewed journal, for instance, will not differ one whit from the print version, at least not without clearly marking that a change has been made and why. The concerns about changing content do, however, hold for non-scholarly work, even respected ones like the New York Times or sites like mine and languagehat’s.

The fear of content disappearing altogether is real and represents a real problem, and print is a better archival medium for most things than digital storage. But the archival copy is not more authoritative, just likely to last longer.

I’m not an advocate of digital for all things—quite the opposite. Print will always have its uses and is superior to digital media for many of them. But for lexicographic references, digital is clearly the better medium for most uses.

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Posted: 08 March 2018 01:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Autocorrect is your friend.

You mean I could get Word to change all those dates for me?  Too late for this particular article, but I’d love to know how it works.  I just checked the Options section but couldn’t find such a thing.

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Posted: 09 March 2018 11:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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I was probably being extravagant, as entering every possible date you’re likely to encounter manually would take immeasurably more time and be a good deal more tedious than doing it manually. You’d have to write a macro to find and replace wildcards. I don’t know if that’s your sort of thing; it isn’t really mine, but I assumed someone else similarly ignorant would want one. And behold, someone has: https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/msoffice/forum/msoffice_word-mso_win10-mso_2013_release/changing-the-american-date-format-to-european-date/27eadb66-0a3e-4494-ace4-be7db71ce931.

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Posted: 09 March 2018 03:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Looks way too complicated for me, but thanks!

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