Questions about English dictionaries

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9
votes
5answers
18k views

“Smooths” versus “Smoothes”

I am interested in the rapid rise (since about 1993) in frequency of the spelling smoothes as against smooths. An Ngram Viewer graph tracking the frequency of usage of the two words from 1800 to ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

Descent, Ancestry, Lineage

Please help me with the words 'descent', 'ancestry', and 'lineage'. Dictionaries show that they are loosely the same: 1a. He has German descent. 1b. He is of German descent. 2a. He has ...
0
votes
1answer
287 views

Verb for creating an icon

I am having some difficulty wording a title for a paper of mine. I am going for something like, "Automatic text iconification". Which means an automatic method of giving text a symbolic ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Why isn’t “hermeticity” easily found in the dictionaries?

The word hermeticity as (for the lack of better definition, hence the question) “the quality of being hermetic” (not to be confused with mathematical hermiticity, which is also absent from the general ...
5
votes
1answer
6k views

Is it all right to use “in hopes of” to mean “with the aim of”?

Recently I browsed through the definition of hope in New Oxford American Dictionary (provided by Apple in the dictionary app) to double confirm with its usage as I answered a word-choice question and ...
29
votes
13answers
4k views

What is a verb for “illusion”?

What is a verb for illusion? I want to use it in a sentence like the following: The optical effect [illudes] my perception of its real shape. But illude does not exist. But I cannot find illude ...
1
vote
4answers
564 views

What is the adverbial form of “communicational”?

I tried communicationally, but the Free Dictionary doesn’t find it to be a word. What I am trying to express is that someone is communicationally challenged, basically meaning they can’t communicate ...
8
votes
4answers
14k views

Syllable division of VCV pattern in words such as “salad” and “lemon”

In words such as salad /sæləd/, you have a VCV pattern (vowel-consonant-vowel), in which the first vowel is short. The syllable division of such words is generally done after the consonant, i.e, as ...
1
vote
0answers
46 views

How are words added to the Oxford Dictionary? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is there an ‘official’ way to suggest a new word become part of the English language? What are the criteria to adopt new words into English? Creating a new word ...
1
vote
0answers
40 views

How can you submit a new word for inclusion in a dictionary? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is there an ‘official’ way to suggest a new word become part of the English language? If I happened to have coined a few words that I find could be of practical value to ...
23
votes
2answers
3k views

How and when did American spelling supersede British spelling in the US?

Considering that Webster published his first dictionary in 1806, is there a recognised tipping point (year, decade, etc.) that marked the move from traditional British spelling to Webster's American? ...
0
votes
3answers
148 views

How can dictionaries be tyrants? [closed]

Sometimes you might hear the phrase, tyranny of the dictionary Is there a way to express succinctly just what that means?
3
votes
2answers
413 views

Is esquivalience now a bona fide word?

Today, I came across WP's entry for the word esquivalience: "Esquivalience" is a fictitious entry in the New Oxford American Dictionary (NOAD), which was designed and included to protect copyright ...
3
votes
2answers
687 views

Order of definitions in dictionaries

Are dictionary definitions for words with multiple meanings ordered based on chronology, hierarchy, or frequency of usage? Is/was there a standard format?
4
votes
1answer
92 views

Where does “acutilobate” originate from?

I see the claim that acutilobate is a “dictionary-only” word, for example seen in the 1913 Webster’s dictionary. How would a word get into a dictionary that only appears in dictionaries and is not ...
-2
votes
1answer
187 views

online free dictionary of choice? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What are your favorite English language tools? This may seem like a meta question but I feel it is really about English Language and Usage. What is the preferred online ...
4
votes
3answers
323 views

What were the British equivalents of Webster's dictionary and the Simplified Spelling Board that standardized spelling and usage?

I am familiar with questions about when to double 'l' and differences between British and American spellings. However, I stumbled across this image. As you can see, several words end in the double ...
2
votes
1answer
342 views

What is student discussion place called? [closed]

Is there any English (or in other languages) word for a place where students of different colleges discuss about activities (events, reputation) of their colleges/universities
6
votes
2answers
22k views

Why are “scaring” and “scarring” confused by some dictionaries? [closed]

Scaring is related to the word scare, while scarring is related to the word scar. Why is it that some dictionaries get these two words confused? For example, when you use Mac OS X Lion's lookup ...
5
votes
2answers
740 views

Why some abbreviations ended with a period, but some not?

I have just bought an Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary. This is it's first page showing some abbreviations used in the dictionary. My question is: why some abbreviations ended with a period ...
1
vote
0answers
85 views

Any good phrasal dictionaries? [closed]

I think I'm supposed to have a phrasal dictionary while learning English. E-books and paper-formed are both welcome. Any advice?
3
votes
4answers
447 views

What is a “sounds like” thesaurus called?

A dictionary contains word definitions. A thesaurus contains words that mean the same (synonyms). I'm looking for a name for a word dictionary that will give you rhymes (or "sounds like") of a word. ...
0
votes
0answers
45 views

Most famous/authentic dictionaries? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Regulatory bodies and authoritative dictionaries for English What are the most famous or authentic dictionaries? I mean- One can use a dictionary to learn about the ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Dictionary of English word syllables and stresses [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Where can I obtain an English dictionary with structured data? Does anybody know of a downloadable dictionary of English words with their syllables AND stress patterns? ...
7
votes
5answers
1k views

Is there such thing as an online preposition dictionary?

Is there such a thing as an online preposition dictionary? For example, I want to use the word "interpretation" but I am not sure of its preposition. I don't know if the correct preposition should ...
0
votes
3answers
2k views

How to find a word to fit a meaning?

I need to find a word that would have a reasonably close meaning to: a collection of facts and arguments used to arrive at an explanation [of some (thing|concept|idea|...)] More generally, I ...
4
votes
5answers
411 views

On what juristic basis are students corrected when making mistakes in an English class? [closed]

I've learned that there is no authoritative dictionary for English. I wonder on what juristic basis students are corrected when making mistakes in an English class. How can someone say that whatever ...
19
votes
5answers
1k views

Is “iff” considered a real word or just an abbreviation?

I wonder if "iff" is considered a real word (as LEO says) or is it just an abbreviation (as in Wiktionary)?
0
votes
1answer
1k views

English word list with pronunciation [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Where can I obtain an English dictionary with structured data? Where can I find a digital English-language dictionary or word list containing pronunciation? I would ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Is there a simple word -> noun/verb/pronoun table? [closed]

I'm after a basic list of words and their "role" in language. It could be plain text, excel, csv, but all I want is, eg: cat noun run verb etc. Simple as that. I'm teaching a young friend who's ...
2
votes
5answers
991 views

Vast amount of vocabulary in English books [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Are there 20,000 English words in the average adult's vocabulary? English is not my native language, but I use it on a daily basis. I started reading English ...
11
votes
4answers
4k views

Is “criterions” a valid plural for “criterion”?

Is criterions a valid plural for criterion? Dictionary.com says it is, but Oxford does not confirm or reject it.
1
vote
2answers
779 views

Is the word “encomprise” used in modern English? [closed]

If one googles the word encomprises, there are 5K+ pages, that have this word. I personally have heard people in the USA use it with a meaning of include. Official dictionaries, on the other hand, ...
7
votes
2answers
252 views

Percentages of meanings in an English dictionary

Often when you look for some new word in a dictionary, you will find many definitions or meanings of the one word. For example when you look for a word to in Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary you ...
6
votes
3answers
235 views

Are published books to be considered an official reference for spelling? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Regulatory bodies and authoritative dictionaries for English Many times I searched across several books for the usage of some words and many times I've found my results ...
4
votes
3answers
646 views

Which flavor of English (British vs. American) first had standard modern spellings?

Which flavor, British English or American English, first standardised its modern spellings? I'm mostly interested in the direction of alteration; for example, was the u dropped from colour or was the ...
3
votes
1answer
389 views

Dictionary program/website that has IPA+recording for as many words as possible

I usually use Wiktionary as my English dictionary. The main things that I'm interested in are (1) IPA transcriptions and (2) voice recordings of each word. The problem is that Wiktionary doesn't have ...
0
votes
1answer
70 views

Are there any online dictionaries that allow you to link to a single specific definition of a word? [closed]

For example, on my blog I want to link to the definition of 'nut' as'a perforated block usually of metal that has an internal screw thread and is used on a bolt or screw' which is the third definition ...
2
votes
0answers
446 views

Why do you think the Oxford English Dictionary modified their definition of “of?” [closed]

Of 'of': Expressing Possession and Being Possessed I would like to discuss changes made to the definition of 'of' in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) from the 1989 edition to the 2010 edition. ...
0
votes
2answers
847 views

Best resources for word popularity [closed]

I am looking for a good resource that can give me some idea of how popular or commonly used a word is. Some of these may be: WordCount.org -- Indexes the words based on the popularity count. For ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

Why can’t one be “trepid”?

Why can someone be intrepid but not trepid ? The Free Dictionary and Merriam-Webster both consider trepid to be a real word, but my computer’s little spell-checker program does not recognize it as ...
10
votes
3answers
653 views

Is 'compatriate' really an English word?

I recently saw the word 'compatriate' used in a newspaper article. Upon looking it up, suspecting a typo (or even an eggcorn: it is easy to see how compatriot would be mixed-up with expatriate etc.), ...
3
votes
2answers
915 views

Which was the first dictionary and how was it decided which words went into it?

I've heard the riddle: "If Websters' was the first dictionary where did he get all the words from?" It has quite since intrigued me, honestly. Which was the first English language dictionary and how ...
1
vote
1answer
558 views

Where can I find a relatively inclusive word-list for analysis of prefixes and suffixes? [closed]

To illustrate a simple example, when I encounter the word "claustrophobia", what I already knew is the left part "claustro-" means "small and enclosed", and I want to discover if "-phobia" has a fixed ...
-2
votes
4answers
3k views

What's another way of saying “supposed to graduate in 2013”? [closed]

I am filling out a job application and I know there's an official word for it, but I just can't think of it. It can normally be found on transcripts.
5
votes
4answers
262 views

What are comparative strong points of online dictionaries and other useful reference sites?

NOTE: This question was composed in an attempt to follow Guidelines for Great Subjective Questions. I hope I do not fail them too hard, but if you see how the question can be improved please edit ...
1
vote
4answers
496 views

Suggestion for English phrase dictionary?

I am not native English guy. One of the problem when I learn English is that I don't understand phrases, the phrase used cannot be found in the dictionary, which only contains single word. ...
3
votes
9answers
753 views

What word describes interpreting evidence in such a way as to reach a desired conclusion?

Does anyone know what it's called when you interpret evidence to reach the conclusion you want?
3
votes
3answers
641 views

Is there an 'official' way to suggest a new word become part of the English language? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Regulatory bodies and authoritative dictionaries for English Creating a new word What are the criteria to adopt new words into English? I've always been told, at ...
3
votes
1answer
357 views

Do any print dictionaries admit “everytime” as a word?

I've noticed a tendency for more and more two-word phrases with even slightly idiomatic usage being written more and more as single word compounds. Today when I came across "everytime" written as a ...