Hello my dear learners. Welcome to myabcenglish.com. I am your facilitator Timir.

Today we are going to discuss on a very important topic which is Usage of a Dictionary

Dictionaries conventionally provided information on Grammar, word frequency and Collocations.

With the advent of online dictionaries, new features are being added to simplify the dictionary usage and making it user friendly

Online dictionaries are a combination of Crowd sourced ones where the dictionary users can update the content by themselves but can’t change the existing content such as Macmillan’s open Dictionary

Whereas popular Collaborative dictionaries like Wiktionary allow users to work together and change as well as improve on the existing content

The most popular ones are the Online portals also known as Aggregators like Dictionary.com that compile content from several sources to give wider meaning and interpretations for every word

Thereby Dictionary usage is not limited to Reading and writing anymore but learners also can access them while listening and speaking with the advent of WEB 2.0 that has simplified the Dictionary usage where you get access to several meanings and interpretation of words just by typing a word

While online dictionaries are more usable or user friendly but often questions are raised on their usefulness when compared to conventional ones.

When it comes to choosing a reliable Dictionary to use, we need to make sure that it takes care of 4 aspects of any word

  • Spoken and written form of a word
  • Conceptual meaning and related words
  • Contextual usage in terms of its grammar patterns and collocations
  • Frequency and appropriateness of a word

Corpora is revolutionizing the way we understand the usage of words and its contextual meaning by providing evidence of how a language is used in real situations.

The advent of the field of Corpus Linguistics and Natural Language processing is sure to bring about a sea change in the landscape of Dictionary usage

It is further likely to improve on understanding of polysemous words that have several meanings to help the learners in identifying the contextual meaning of a word

Phraseology can be of great help.

It helps us make out the meaning of a word in a contextual sense naturally by understanding the words as phrases rather than as individual words which a conventional dictionary does

I hope this lesson will go a long way in improving your understanding of English vocabulary.

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