Which is why I have three different methods for quick lookup in Wiktionary in the desktop browser, and whipped up an extension for FF mobile to look up the selection with one tap.
Wiktionary's definition of ‘pathos’ omits the first variant from Webster's, however I'd say I've never seen it used in that meaning and it sounds more like the original Greek sense. (Though the relation to ‘ethos’ should probably be mentioned.)
Alas, for my love to Wiktionary, I'm having trouble learning less-familiar words with it, because I'm hoping to use Anki for that purpose. Turns out, a scroll of different meanings is no good as an answer on a flash card since I'm yet to learn just the most prominent one. All points to me importing a simpler dictionary like the Oxford, and manually fiddling with subtler meanings where I need them.
I'm yet to find a thesaurus which would be as comprehensive and usable, with notes on the differences in meanings. For now, I'm employing thesaurus.com plus Wiktionary lookups—the thesaurus somehow just has more stuff and shades of meanings than other online ones, including established names like Merriam-Webster.
I took a few weekends putting most of my efforts into formatting and readability. Just when I was ready to release, I got really busy at work.
Weeks became months, and months became years. By the time I got back to it last year, Xcode wouldn't compile it anymore.
To my dismay, I also discovered that a number of other apps had been launched. After fretting a bit, I realized that most of the competition had done a poor job parsing the raw data and formatting the text.
So I released it anyway. Feel free to give it a try and let me know what you think: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id1397172520
It must be slightly traumatic seeing your first review of the app:
> 1/5 stars: Missing many basic words. Seems like a phishing app
I don't think your target audience is those looking for dictionaries. LoL
This is the single-volume second edition. Mine is the two-volume first edition.
I think it has some of these 1911 Webster qualities.
Collins on flash: https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/flash
It turns out that this is the primary default for the cli dictionary tool `dict` , which has happily become my go-to.
This is because it is using dict.org , which serves _The Collaborative International Dictionary of English_ v.0.48 (GCIDE) as it's default dictionary .
edit: Newline formatting.
One client reminds me every month that one of those random words solved his problem, so it's paid for itself! :-)
Then, I pipe each word entry through sdcv, with my favourite dictionaries enabled, and create a glossary specifically for the text in study.
Then as I study the text, and encounter strange and unfamiliar words, I use my glossary to gain understanding. If something doesn't quite seem right, I consult other dictionary entries for the word in question - this is often because its a technical phrase or term.
This has helped me immensely to understand texts before I even start reading them.
Reading is not just background noise. It demands your attention, or you will fall out of the text quickly.
I put together a tool to improve the formatting somewhat the last time this went around: https://github.com/aparks517/convert-websters
And also an iOS app: https://itunes.apple.com/app/id943993346
I’ve also been collecting patches to correct typographical errors which I’ve been meaning to post somewhere. I’ve met lots of neat folks through this project!
However, I don’t think I’ll be setting webster-mac as my default dictionary. macOS’s built-in New Oxford American Dictionary may have less colorful descriptions of the words, but it has features that greatly enhance readability that neither version of Webster’s has:
• Quotes are visually distinguished from definitions.
• The font size is consistent with other dictionaries.
• It describes pronunciation for each word (supporting two formats: diacritical or IPA).
• The correct capitalization of every word is demonstrated, both in the entry and in the index.
• It uses proper typography, avoiding fake dashes “--”.
Usually when you are looking for synonyms, you know you already know the word but you just cannot find it. So the Idea I had was to make some kind of "graph" representation of Word relationships given their meaning.
I remember finding a huge list of words with scores related to their meaning like:
Fly 1, Soar 0.9, Float 0.8.
Think, Ponder 0.9, Muse 0.8.
Which really helped, however given the different "directions" of the meaning that a word can have, this is better represented as a graph.
I finished my PhD writing with the use of said list (saddly I could never find it again), and the graph meaning idea just "went away" (lacking a better word) as I finished my degree. But the need for an efficient and quickly way to find that replacement word is still active.
I think that it either has automated the process of finding synonyms, or started with a corpus like the one you're talking about.
I wish there was a quality open thesaurus, because Thesaurus.com's interface is annoying sometimes, and I could use some integration with a dictionary. Wiktionary's efforts aren't quite there yet.
They can be accessed here (along with a few more dictionaries) http://www.cnrtl.fr/definition/
There is also a decent iPhone/Android app to search the TLFi (not free, requires internet access) https://dictionnaire.app/
Taking the example they use, fustian, the OED does not include the idea that it refers specifically to a mismatch between topic and style, and gives numerous examples, from Marlowe onward, of its use without that aspect.
Analogously: if there were to be a book of acrylic paint swatches that described, for each pigment swatch, what things that color resembles, I wouldn't care much for descriptions that held themselves to the standard of applicability in all possible lighting conditions. There are very few pigments that look the same no matter the lighting (maybe some really vivid reds, and Vantablack.) Rather, I would want separate descriptions of what the color would seem to best resemble under various potential lighting conditions, even if those conditions are rare or even unnatural. As the artist doing the painting, I'm not necessarily constrained by a particular lighting condition; I can change the lighting to suit the pigment just as well as I can choose the pigment to suit the lighting (those being two different artistic projects; sometimes you really are painting the Cistene chapel and can't choose how it's lit, but that doesn't mean you can't find inspiration for a different project in the middle of doing so.)
As the writer, if I find an inspiring, yet effectively-unknown definition of a word—well, that's a good opportunity to put that definition to work in my writing in a way that leads people to expand their conception of the word to include my new pet definition.
In the world of digital books though, you would be able to freatpy expand upon those examples(and even including blurbs about the usage of said word).
It happens that Wiktionary doesn't have one of meanings, but very rare.
SPORT, m. leibesübung als spiel und zum vergnügen; ein englisches wort,
das die vergnügungen des feldes, der jagd, wettrennen, schwimmen und sonst
allerlei kurzweil nach festen regeln ausgeführt, bedeutet, im mittelenglischen
disport, mit dem verbum disporten sich vergnügen, lautet und auf altfranz.
desport, ital. diporto belustigung, freude, vergnügen, zurückgeht. die sache
selbst erscheint in nachahmung englischen brauchs mit dem namen vereinzelt
bereits in den 50 er jahren des 19. jahrh. (vgl. unten sportneuigkeit von 1855),
hat aber erst in den letzten jahrzehnten des 19. jahrh. so um sich gegriffen,
dasz das wort völlig in die deutsche sprache eingebürgert ist: sport treiben;
jagd-, reit-, renn-, schwimmsport; rittersport Freytag bilder 2, 1, 4;
dem sport huldigen, den sport pflegen.
> leibesübung als spiel und zum vergnügen; ein englisches wort
It’s a nice, quantifiable thing to ask a student to define fustian prose as pompous. It’s a lot harder to get the student to explain that fustian is when one tries to punch above the weight class of the idea they’re conveying via flowery prose.
Anyway, the vocabulary lessons I had came from textbooks, some of which wrote entire short essays on each word, The one for "brogue" (meaning an Irish accent), for instance, goes into its etymology and notes a comparison with a kimd of shoe of the same name. The shoe, it turns out, has a different etymology and the two twrms are not related. The essay concludes: "The idea that the Irish accent fits the tongue as comfortably as a friendly old shoe fits the foot is probably pure Irish fantasy."
Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. You can pick up old editions dirt cheap on the usual sites. Here's the wikipedia entry. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brewer%27s_Dictionary_of_Phras...
A Dictionary of metaphor. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Metaphors-Dictionary-Comparative-in...
I agree it is excellent, and Wallace's review is also worth reading.
As a teaser, here are some of the google definitions I've come across that I believe are all wrong:
come out in the wash
Another good source for etymologies is the Etymonline site―in particular it's better for figuring out when some figurative meanings and sayings entered the popular usage. Might also be available as an app.
That last bit is an excellent definition of fustian, and reveals Webster's definition to be (IMHO) a bit, well, fustian.
That's not what "pompous" means but it is exactly what "pretentious" means. For some reason OP ignored that part of the definition.
Fustian is a type of cloth which was used as padding. If I say I just listened to 10 minutes of fustian from a politician that means they were filling time far beyond the direct content. I would characterize many business books as fustian. (Or at least, this has always been my understanding of the word.)
If I say the speech was pretentious that means it was artificially pretending to be something it wasn’t, e.g. as if it were written by someone who looked up every word they wanted to use in the thesaurus and then chose the most obscure quasi-synonym without knowing its meaning and without bothering to check that the new word actually meant what they wanted to say. (There might be other types of pretension. For instance, someone might say that a highly-educated upper-class politician’s speech is pretentious when he talks like a manual laborer, or that a political scientist’s writing is pretentious when it reads like a physics paper.)
If I say the speech was pompous, that means it was affectedly grand; imagine someone giving a speech at a city council meeting about whether to add some bike lanes to a local street but sounding like a king’s eulogy.
“Fluff”, “stuffing”, “padding”, “bombast”, “hot air”, etc. are ways of expressing more or less the same metaphor as “fustian”.
Also, learning different languages usually reveals that you cannot think in the same way when using different languages. So you may end up creating new words to describe ideas the other language doesn't convey.
Anyway, languages keep evolving all the time ;)
Not just cliché but entirely juvenile and formulaic. Public speaking teachers mislead their students by teaching them this bore of an opening.
He takes too long to push the informative points, all the while cloaking them in too much empty dross.
At first, I thought this was an example of something written by an AI program. It is lumpy and disjointed to the mind in the same way that the Uncanny Valley is disorienting to the eye.
I'm going to settle on it simply being a poorly written meandering of thought disguised as something that it isn't.
I hate to explain something someone else wrote, but the messy, tangential writing is mirroring the uncertainty that the author calls out in the dictionary definitions that they love. Their intent is to convey the joy that these words have for them when seen through the lens of Webster’s 1913. Joy is not constrained to declarative statements marching in lock step to the beat of logical coherence. To remove the “over wordiness” and “needless punctuation” is to lose the human aspect of the post.
Sometimes conveying information is a secondary or tertiary purpose to a piece of prose.
Also, not everyone is Raymond Carver. Some people are Henry James.
Made my day.
There's a category for entries that were imported mostly unmodified, with 26,433 pages. https://en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/Category:Webster_1913
His point to me is the modern dictionary has lost a lot of nuance behind what words mean.
The author is pursuing flavor, not expeditiousness. Re-read it as a thing that tries to convey the pleasure in the activity of reading, beyond whatever value there may be in the data being propagated.