Is the Web killing the dictionary?

Paper, e-book, app.I have been going to lexicography conferences for many years now, including the Euralex congresses and the eLex series. One popular opinion that always emerges in talks and conversations at such events is that the Web is – supposedly – killing the dictionary. Now that I’m about to attend yet another instalment of the eLex conference (taking place in Tallinn, Estonia this year – great, I hear the Baltic Sea is lovely in October!) I thought it would be a good idea to dissect this opinion a little. Let’s dissect away, then. Continue reading

On good dictionaries and bad

I had the pleasure of attending the eLex (“electronic lexicography”) conference in Louvain-la-Neuve in Belgium earlier this month. As someone who works a lot with lexical databases, I was in my element at an event where everybody was talking about electronic dictionaries.

One of the issues that was discussed a lot at the conference was the question, how do people actually use electronic dictionaries? There are, of course, many different kinds of electronic dictionaries including CD-ROM ones, on-line ones, and dictionaries embedded in hand-held devices. And there are quite striking differences in how people use them in different parts of the world. I already knew that hand-held dictionaries are much more popular in Asia than in Europe, but a talk given by Hilary Nesi at the conference added a great deal of detail that I didn’t know yet.

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