2. Types of dictionaries
3. The origin of dictionaries
3.1. Origin of British dictionaries
3.2. Origin of American dictionaries
4. Differences in British and American dictionaries
4.1. Guidelines for Oxford English Dictionary
4.2. Guidelines for Webster’s Dictionary of the English Language
5. The list of literature
Dictionary is a book that contains a list of words arranged in alphabetical order. It explains their meanings and gives information about them. The user of a dictionary can look up a word quickly, find out what it means and learn how it is pronounced. Dictionaries give the meanings of many kinds of words. Dictionaries are helpers in everyday life.
Linguists and lexicographers have a matter with dictionaries. Every linguist is interested in quantitative properties of language, which leads to questions: “How many words are there in the English language?” “How many words should a dictionary have?” questions like that have no exact answer, as every dictionary has a different number of words. Lexicographers constantly record the meanings of words, arranging them in the order they think will be most comfortable to use. Different editors arrange dictionaries in different ways, most indicate some plan that is followed in arranging the meanings.
Dictionaries provide with various kinds of useful information. Some of them, besides entries, have additional articles about the English language, forms of address, weights and measures, special signs and symbols, common given names, some list historical events, and some, home remedies and many more. The common reader turns to a dictionary for information about spelling, pronunciation, meaning and proper use of words, especially difference between the American and English languages. Dictionary materials are widely used in language investigations by linguists. Using the dictionary helps people to improve language, learn more new words, phrases, set expressions.... [continues]
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