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Final round-up

This course was an introduction to the world of dictionaries. We started by asking you how you use dictionaries, and what you think about them. We then looked at different …

What else could dictionaries include?

In this interview with Michael Rundell, lexicographer Jane Solomon discusses recent innovations at dictionary.com. These include dictionary coverage of contemporary cultural references (like ‘Hufflepuff’), memes (like ‘This is Fine’), and …

Blurring the lines: everything in one place

Traditionally, monolingual dictionaries, bilingual dictionaries, thesauruses, and encyclopedias were all separate books. But online media makes it possible to provide all this information in one place. We are now beginning …

Expanding the scope of the dictionary

As dictionaries move from the printed page to online platforms, opportunities are opening up to add new kinds of information. A familiar addition is the use of audio pronunciations: instead …

Finding good examples automatically

The previous exercise will have given you an idea of what makes a good dictionary example. Evaluating sentences like the ones in Step 6.7 helps us get a clearer understanding …

What makes a good dictionary example?

In this step, we ask you to evaluate some sentences from a corpus in terms of their usefulness and suitability as example sentences in a dictionary. The definition of a …

Can definition-writing be automated?

On the face of it, automating the process of defining seems a daunting task. In general, people don’t explain the meanings of the words they use while they’re communicating, so …

How word meanings change over time?

Many words change meaning over time, and some acquire new senses. For example, the word ‘tweet’ originally referred to a sound produced by birds, and it has recently acquired a …

How to find new words automatically?

Barbara McGillivray interviews computational linguist Emmanuel Cartier about his project Neoveille on neologism tracking. Emmanuel Cartier is Assistant professor at the University of Paris 13. The video is primarily about …

Dictionaries and technology

This step introduces the role of technology in dictionary making. Watch the video, presented by course educator Barbara McGillivray, to find out about cutting-edge technologies dictionary-makers are using or planning …

Introduction to Week 6

Welcome to the sixth and final week of this course. We hope you have enjoyed the activities so far, and that you feel you now know more about the world …

A practical task

In Step 5.16, we discussed certain classes of word which are difficult to define in a ‘values-free’ way. As we saw, if you define ‘marriage’ to include the possibility of …

Summary of the week

During Week 5, we have looked at the topic of meaning from two separate angles: How meanings are created in text How meanings are described in dictionary definitions Starting with …

The case of Urban Dictionary

In this video, Michael Rundell interviews fellow course educator Barbara McGillivray about the Urban Dictionary. Further reading You can read more about Barbara’s research in an article called ‘Emo, love …