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Wow - that was a fantastic(al) and fun read - and then ends up with a cool bit of hacking to actually fetch and add a dictionary from 1913 as the default on your 'puter. The perfect HN post, I say!

I agree. I read the post on my Xubuntu machine and was too lazy to open my Mac, so I opened XFCE's Dictionary application and did a search for "flash". Lo and behold, the same definitions appeared. The heading says "The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 (gcide)" which I learned is derived from the Webster's 1913 edition and contains further improvements. That was kind of exciting and for at least a little while I'll keep the dictionary open or add it to my panel. :-)

I suspect that some may be concerned about referring to such an old tome. Usage does change after all over the years.

I recalled David Foster Wallace's effusive praise [1] for Garner's Dictionary of Modern American Usage [2] which seems to have similar characteristics to the Webster, but I doubt there's such a convenient digital integration available for this.

If only the world were perfect! ;)

[1] http://instruct.westvalley.edu/lafave/DFW_present_tense.html

[2] http://www.amazon.com/Garners-Modern-American-Usage-Garner-e...

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