Do people still buy a dictionary?
When was the last time you referred to a print dictionary? I don’t remember doing it after 2011, that is when I bought my first smartphone. And, when was the last time I actually bought a dictionary? Well, in ancient times 🙂 Maybe when I was in school.
My father always used to tell me – When in doubt, check it out (in the dictionary)!; has also stopped using the print version. We have loads of dictionaries at home, but we never use them. Does that mean, that we have become so smart that we don’t need to check for spellings anymore? 🙂 Certainly not! Though one can argue that the latest lingo that we use on social media, doesn’t require us to be thorough with our spellings 😀 But, then that is a topic for another blog.
What is the current trend?
I do need to check spellings. But, I hardly go on a dictionary website also. All I do is type the word (whatever I feel is closest to the correct spelling) on Google and check the top results. Else, I just ask Siri to spell it for me. I get to hear the correct pronunciation of the word too. Apart from the dictionary, we also get to check grammar and thesaurus online.
Will the print dictionary still be needed?
I am old school. Normally, I myself would not use a print dictionary, but if I am on a beach, and on a break from my phone, then lazing around the dictionary is a better way to find the meaning of new words. The print versions are clutter free. They have no pop-ups, no cookies and no ads! There is nothing to distract me like ads or other feature articles.
Many languages don’t have online dictionaries especially regional languages. For school children, it is better to use the print dictionary. They will not obviously carry their smartphones to school. And, it will help them to increase their vocabulary while scrolling through pages, finding some other unknown word and to research more.
Current status of the print dictionary
Usage of the print version is decreasing, but these dictionary publishers are finding different venues. The third edition of the Oxford dictionary will most likely only appear in electronic form. Merriam-Webster dictionary had their last updated version released on the website only, in 2014. There are fewer editions in print. But, all these publishers have their online websites with millions of views. These websites are updated frequently. They also offer premium subscriptions for add-on content and an ad-free experience.
So, there is a shift to use the latest technology even in the case of dictionaries. We have so many new language learning apps, which are interactive and help us increase our vocabulary just like old dictionaries but in a better way! Thus, we at Patna Diaries, welcome this change and let dictionaries help us learn better.