2017/11/10

Why You Should Use a Dictionary and Thesaurus More Often


If you're looking for simple tools to help with your writing, look no further than a dictionary and thesaurus.  The most basic and cheapest of tools each of these books will help improve your grammar and punctuation in no time!

What is a Dictionary

An assembly of words in one or more particular languages.  Listed alphabetically, providing the meanings, definitions etymologies, pronunciations of words.



History of the Dictionary

Much deliberation over the world's first dictionary, some say 2300 BCE in modern Syria, others say 3rd century BCE China.  Best known and used dictionary, Oxford English Dictionary published in full 1884 and then in full after 50 years in 1928.

Word Order and Numbers

Words are listed alphabetically.

With about 500,000 words and more than a half a million technical and scientific terms.

You can also find specialised dictionaries in fields such as business or science.

What is a Thesaurus

Words are grouped together depending upon their similarity or meaning, sometimes synonyms and antonyms.

History of the Thesaurus

The modern thesaurus was developed by Peter Mark Roget first published in 1852.

Word Order and Numbers

Words can be listed alphabetically or conceptually.

The biggest thesaurus holds more than 920,000 words.

Exclusive thesauri have been created for retrieval of information in science systems, for indexing or tagging purposes.

When You Should Use a Dictionary or Thesaurus

You can use a dictionary to look up words you don't understand, or the context to use a word in.  You'll discover details of the meaning, definition, usage and etymology of the word.

A thesaurus will supply you with similar or alternative words (synonyms), along with contrasting words (antonyms).

Prominent Publishers

The most used dictionaries are Oxford English Dictionary, Chambers, Merriam Webster and Collins.

The most well-known thesaurus is Roget, and sometimes Webster.

A Brief History

There is much deliberation as to what form's the basis of the first dictionary.  Archaeologists have found bilingual words lists from the Akkadian Empire located in Modern Syria of 2300 BCE.  Arabic and Chinese dictionaries have also been found.  Robert Cawdrey, a school teacher called a table alphabetical in 1604 but that was thought to not be very accurate.  The most trusted modern English language dictionary was Samuel Johnson's and was around for 150 years up to 1755.  Then came the Oxford English Dictionary.

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