14 Matching Annotations
  1. Jun 2021
    1. At best, thesauruses are mere rest stops in the search for the mot juste. Your destination is the dic-tionary.

      an apt definition of a thesaurus

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  2. Apr 2021
    1. I'm going to try uploading this to test it out on my Paperwhite.

      <small><cite class='h-cite via'> <span class='p-author h-card'>James Somers</span> in You’re probably using the wrong dictionary « the jsomers.net blog (<time class='dt-published'>04/03/2021 15:21:10</time>)</cite></small>

    1. There’s an amazing thing that happens when you start using the right dictionary. Knowing that it’s there for you, you start looking up more words, including words you already know. And you develop an affection for even those, the plainest most everyday words, because you see them treated with the same respect awarded to the rare ones, the high-sounding ones.

      The value of using the right dictionary.

    2. In 1807, he started writing a dictionary, which he called, boldly, An American Dictionary of the English Language. He wanted it to be comprehensive, authoritative. Think of that: a man sits down, aiming to capture his language whole.

      Johnson's dictionary is much like this article describes too.

      Perhaps we need more dictionaries with singular voices rather than dictionaries made by committee?

    3. It’s a subtle difference, but that’s the whole point: English is an awfully subtle instrument. A dictionary that ignores these little shades is dangerous; in fact in those cases it’s worse than useless. It’s misleading, deflating. It divests those words of their worth and purpose.

      How to tell the value of a fine dictionary.

    4. A book where you can enter “sport” and end up with “a diversion of the field” — this is in fact the opposite of what I’d known a dictionary to be. This is a book that transmutes plain words into language that’s finer and more vivid and sometimes more rare. No wonder McPhee wrote with it by his side. No wonder he looked up words he knew, versus words he didn’t, in a ratio of “at least ninety-nine to one.”

      The real reason for using a dictionary.

    5. John McPhee — one the great American writers of nonfiction, almost peerless as a prose stylist — once wrote an essay for the New Yorker about his process called “Draft #4.” He explains that for him, draft #4 is the draft after the painstaking labor of creation is done, when all that’s left is to punch up the language, to replace shopworn words and phrases with stuff that sings.

      I quite like the idea of this Draft #4 concept.

  3. Jan 2019
  4. Jan 2017