March 07, 2005


Andrew Joscelyne at Blogos explains what's going on with "Webster's Online Dictionary (The Rosetta Edition)", a vast project initiated and managed by Philip Parker. The goal: "the biggest multilingual dictionary site on the web", constituting an “N-dimensional cube of words in every language to every language,” currently said to weigh in a terabyte or so. Margaret Marks at Transblawg complains about the treatment of translator, and calls the WOD ""huge and bizarre".

Take a look at the entry for language. There's some useful stuff in there, but I think I'd think twice before believing what this source told me about words in a language I didn't know. You might get something like the "synonyms within context", which seems to include every Roget's category in which any term contains the word language, and therefore covers many things that are not synonyms at all, within context or without it -- personality, vigor, raciness, authorship, gravity and so on.

[Update: Abnu from Wordlab emailed to point out that he "was not impressed with the naming of Webster's Online Dictionary. Shouldn't we expect something original from a Chaired Professor of Innovation?". Well, perhaps sometimes it's innovative to be derivative.


Posted by Mark Liberman at March 7, 2005 03:05 PM