Category Archives: Dictionaries

1917? OMG!

The Oxford English Dictionary puts out regular memos when they update; in March 2011, they announce that OMG and LOL are among the new “initialisms.” Of course, being the OED, they’ve done thorough research on when these abbreviations first appear; … Continue reading

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DotW: Webster’s New World Dictionary

This week’s Dictionary of the Week – ok, this season’s Dictionary of the Week, since the last one I did was in April – is a classic. It’s red, it’s got Webster in the title, and it sits on a … Continue reading

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it takes a physicist

According to this wire story, an Australian physicist was the first person to notice a mistake in many dictionary definitions of a siphon. In case you’re wondering: when you’re using a siphon, it’s gravity that moves liquid from one place … Continue reading

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DotW: Jim Breen’s WWWJDIC

When I lived in Japan, in the late 90′s, the internet was still a relatively new thing. I actually had a kind of proto-blog, on Geocities, and I did something Skype-like to call home for free…but my dictionaries were on … Continue reading

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DotW: Engelsk-norsk norsk-engelsk

The new Dictionary of the Week is one I’ve had longer than most of my other dictionaries: Lingua Engelsk-norsk norsk-engelsk Ordbok for videreg√•ende skole. If you don’t read Norwegian, and hardly anyone does, let me help you: Lingua English-Norwegian Norwegian-English … Continue reading

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dangers in dictionaries

For my Dictionary of the Week entries, I always check to see if a dictionary has obscenities. It seems useful to know whether a dictionary is reflecting the full range of a language or just, you know, the nice words. … Continue reading

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DotW: Sanseido’s Concise English Dictionary

When I first got to Japan and started learning Japanese, I used a dictionary that wrote out all the Japanese words in roman letters. Loyal readers of Dictionary of the Week may remember it as one of the first dictionaries … Continue reading

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DotW: What’s What

I’m in Colorado this weekend with my parents and brother, so the Dictionary of the Week is a special guest. What’s What: A Visual Glossary of the Physical World is on the shelf of the vacation rental place where we’re … Continue reading

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Langenscheidt

Three observations on Langenscheidt, the publisher of two of my Dictionaries of the Week thus far (German) (Japanese): 1. I defy you to type “Langenscheidt” without messing up and typing “edit” instead of “eidt” at the end. I have to … Continue reading

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DotW: Langenscheidt Universal German Dictionary

At the time I left for Germany last July, I owned three German dictionaries. One I got in 1990 when I took my first German class, one random paperback of unknown provenance, and a big desk dictionary I got a … Continue reading

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