Thursday, 19 June 2014

Writing - Digital Dictionaries

I have used a dictionary for many years, almost as long as I've been able to read. My mother taught me to read at home before I began school at the age of five years. 

Throughout upper school, college and university a dictionary was a constant. As a writer I use one now, quite frequently, but must admit to using an online version. 
So will printed versions of dictionaries become obsolete and if so does it matter? Well like all change of state of something significant the generations who held the object as being significant regret the change. However, online dictionaries are revised every three months and the results are immediately available so the moderation of the dictionary is probably more important than before. It is essential then that the dictionary we choose to use has a good name.

As a personal whinge, and my blog is the forum in which I feel it is right to do so, I regret the publishing houses using American English as a standard. It is the language of a culture which is different from English of the United Kingdom. The vocabulary is not even the same,

 tap -    fawcett

boot -    trunk

    bonnet - hood    

    rubber - condom


My ex-wife's sister on a teaching exchange to Durham in S Dakota, from Yorkshire, fell foul of the difference in that final example.
There are other less emotive examples such as spelling favourite with the 'u' and organise with an 's' instead of the 'z'. 

As an Englishman brought up with UK spellings it is anathema to me to have to change to a system that is unfamiliar. It seems to me no different from saying that you now must publish all of your books in Japanese. Sayonara

God Bless