Google Is Top Online Dictionary, But in Weak Field

Lack of sensical example sentences even in OED flummoxes Angwin
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 7, 2009 4:20 PM CDT
Archive copies of the Collegiate Dictionary.   (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – Nowadays, Google is just about as good a reference as the Oxford English Dictionary—or better, Julia Angwin writes in the Wall Street Journal. Type in a misspelled word, and the search engine corrects it. What’s more, Google will display a trove of up-to-date articles using the word, something the OED, with its fusty 19th-century examples, doesn’t do well. Still, Google is not a dictionary—where’s the reference book of today?

Your standard online dictionary doesn’t fit the bill: “Most free dictionary sites contain the same crammed definitions and lack of example sentences as their print cousins,” Angwin writes. “Without relevant example sentences, dictionaries are crippled.” One online venture, Wordnik, “is a good first step towards a dictionary for the modern wordsmith,” with examples from the likes of Twitter, but the definitions are stale. Angwin is “still hoping for a dictionary that will leave Google in the dust."