Academic journal article American Academic & Scholarly Research Journal

Positive and Negative Impact of Technology and Information Revolution on Compiling the Dictionary

Academic journal article American Academic & Scholarly Research Journal

Positive and Negative Impact of Technology and Information Revolution on Compiling the Dictionary

Article excerpt

Abstract. This study shows the positive and negative impacts of technology and new advances on the field of lexicography and dictionary making. The study makes an analytical comparison between three types of the dictionaries: printed, electronic and online. The researchers interviews some different users asking them about advantages and disadvantages of these dictionaries. This study confirms that the process of dictionary compiling is affected by the innovations and modern technology positively and negatively .Also, it finds that each one of the three types dictionaries has its own merits and demerits. The research recommends to benefit from the computer and internet revolution positively to improve our dictionaries. It concludes that the ideal dictionary is the one which meets the user's needs and requirements. The study ascertains that the dictionary remains an indispensible tool for any user.

Key words: technology revolution, printed dictionary, electronic dictionary, online dictionary, lexicography, dictionary-compiling.


Dictionary is one of the most essential learning tools for different users. Matej Lukác ( 2001) confirmed that the dictionary is a necessary tool for English learner adding that the teacher has to help his\her students to choose the right dictionary to achieve their goals. He asserted that the best dictionary is not the one which provides the user with the word and its translation but it is the one which provides the user with other functions like collocations, idioms, examples, affixations, and others. Also, Sarah (2009) indicated that the dictionary is very important investment for the learner in general. In addition, Olimat (2010)pointed out that the dictionary is an important tool for any learner because it provides the user whether translator, learner or teacher with a lot of requirements such as definition, pronunciation, etymology...etc.

Dictionaries are not only a wordlist with adjunct text but also they are collection of interrelated text supporting us as a function (Nielsen 2008). He demonstrated that the dictionary users' choice depends on nature of the needs, the ease and convenience. Moreover, Dion Nkomo (2008) has seen the dictionary as a container of knowledge and measure of correctness.. The researcher thinks that the best dictionary is the one that gives answers to the learner's questions. Different users need different types of dictionaries: monolingual, bilingual and multilingual. On the other hand, there are general dictionaries and specialized ones that focus on specific fields like law, physics, chemistry and others. Also there are different types which are electronic and online dictionaries as opposite to the paper printed ones. The dictionary remains indispensible tool for the user. It is a way of intercultural communication.

Lexicography is the process of compiling, writing and editing dictionaries. Williams (2009) thinks that lexicography is a linguistic discipline which consists of two related perspectives: practical lexicography which is the art and craftof compiling, writing and editing dictionaries. The other perspective is the theoretical lexicography which is the analysis and description of linguistic connections within the language lexicon. The researcher believes that lexicographer is the linguist who concerns about the word formation, meanings, structuring, usage, and derivation. Landau (1989) lists five phases for compiling the dictionary: planning, writing, publishing, revising, and abridging.

Boon Moh (2010) said that the technology is changing rapidly so that the trend to use the electronic and online dictionaries appeared as opposite to the printed ones. He added that using the electronic and online dictionaries has different advantages and disadvantages. Krubu and Osawaru (2011) pointed out the everyday technological advances affect the educational process and dictionary-using in the university libraries. Olimat (2010) and Boon Moh(2010) confirmed that electronic dictionary has become popular in the different institutions. …

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