Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

My Book News & Advocate for the Writing Community ©

Are Dictionaries A Forgotten Resource or Retired in Favor of the Internet..?

March 14, 2014


I came across this interesting article today, regarding the creation of the first English dictionary. Fascinating stuff!

It occured to me in this day and age of the internet being seen as the font of all knowledge, are dictionaries becoming redundant? Today no matter what type of word document you open, it has links to spelling, grammar and a theausaurs as well as dictionary features. An easy click will supply you with all the information you want – doesn’t it?

Do you use a dictionary?

What are your views on paper verus virtual?

Quotes:   Lexicography can be done on the kitchen table.” Eric Stanley.

Words – so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them. Nathaniel Hawthorne

 FunDayFor today’s fun prompt we will use a real dictionary.  Grab a copy and let it fall open. Then with eyes closed point to a word on either page. Use that word to begin your response for a short story or poem.  Here is mine:  Immunity
Love’s Immunity
Your love surrounds me

Embraces my body and soul

I have no immunity to your adoration

Resisting is not an option

I will suffer no punishment

With your protection

We revel in our freedom

To love and be loved


  1. I have an opened dictionary and thesaurus next to my desk. The internet, however useful it is, at times goes too fast. Turning to my dictionary and flipping my fingers along its pages allows me time to breath and think. Sometimes slow is the new fast:)


  2. I still use mine. 🙂 Have it handy on my desk. I like it better for manual hyphenation, and I’m more apt to trust it, but I often use online resources, too.


  3. I love real hardcover dictionaries! So much more intriguing than a simple search engine. That and a complete Roget and I am a happy writer


  4. I guess I am old fashioned as I still like the actual dictionary and do not use the computer. I hate to think of the printed book becoming an oddity and do not own a Kindle which does prevent me from reading some people’s writing if they only sell it in that form. I am going to try the dictionary idea you suggested and will post it on my blog on WFSC. Happy Weekend!


  5. I still use a dictionary, but mine is, unfortunately, digital. I have a paper copy, somewhere. But I remember I was flicking through it in the kitchen while cooking and it fell in the sink full of damp, dirty dishes. 😦
    Hopefully it’s dry by now…


  6. I may be one of the few clinging onto a sinking ship, but I still use a dictionary (and thesaurus) in print form and prefer them over the internet. I’ve used and (and still do occasionally) but definitely prefer my good old trusted hard copies. I’ve found, especially with the Thesaurus, that it is more extensive than and is easier for me to find synonyms for the specific meaning of a word. I have a system, am more comfortable using the print copies, and find I actually get more work done. As soon as I get on the internet, for any reason, it’s over! I get distracted too easily! (as I sit here writing this reply instead of working on my book)

    On a side note, I had an encounter (well, near encounter) with a woman at a book festival last year regarding this very subject. I was promoting my books and she was in the space next to me selling jewelry she made from…books. I heard her going through her spiel all day about how she makes her products and someone eventually came up and commented on the fact they didn’t like her using actual books. Her response was that she uses old hymn books dictionaries because no one uses dictionaries anymore. I really wanted to plop mine down in front of her and tell her…well, quite a lot of things actually…but I stayed where I was and kept my mouth shut, which was probably better for everyone in the end 🙂


    • I have printed copies too, Andi. As you say, they have more ‘substance’ than the virtual options. Your encounter could be the basis of a great story by the way!
      Destroying any book is evil to my mind.


Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at
%d bloggers like this: