After working on a number of online dictionary and reference projects over the years, it’s always nice to see some neat innovations. OUP have just made some of their wonderful Oxford Paperback Reference titles available on the iPhone. Maybe it’s time I got that gadget.
I was also excited to read the ReadWriteWeb item about Wordnik. It may not include the breadth and currency of other online dictionaries, but it has creatively pulled together a lovely range of supporting materials in a nice user experience. It shows how effectively you can utilise data that is available via APIs from other sources. Its dictionaries include American Heritage Dictionary, Websters (1913) and a few others, but what makes it exciting is the other items: the examples from texts at Project Gutenberg; thesaurus items; Twitter usages; pictures from Flickr; a graphical view of the occurrence of the word over time; etymology; and pronunciation. Users can add their own notes, as well as pronunciation examples. No doubt more funky features will get added. Do other dictionary publishers need to raise their game?
- Lardinois, Frederic. “Enamored With Words? You’ll Love Wordnik.” 9 June 2009. ReadWriteWeb http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/enamored_words_youll_love_wordnik.php