Why Everyone Needs a Print Dictionary: Webster's New World College Dictionary, Ever the Standard, After all These Years

Share Article

Why Everyone Needs a Print Dictionary Webster's New World® College Dictionary: Ever the standard, after all these years. With the first day of school fast approaching, here are some reasons why everyone should own a print dictionary, rather than relying on the internet alone.

Let it be known: the dictionary in print form is still alive and flourishing, is still the standard, and is still very much needed. How can this be, in this digital age of laptops, texting, and smart phones? Let's take a look.

"Dictionaries in traditional print form are still the standard among serious publishers," says Mike Agnes, editor in chief of Webster's New World College Dictionary. "They have advantages over digital versions, even if the content of the two formats is identical."

He went on to elaborate on a few of these.

  • Ease of Use: Print dictionaries don't need to be booted up, they never crash, they never lose their data. Everyone needs a dictionary, but not everyone is comfortable at a computer keyboard. When well thought out and produced, books are an ergonomic and sensible medium for conveying information.
  • Pleasure: The best print dictionaries are aesthetic objects as well as intellectual containers. A good dictionary will have fine, white paper that lasts for years without yellowing. It will have carefully judged typography that pleases the eye and conveys meaning with grace and efficiency. The heft and format of a fine college dictionary convey to the reader a sense of confidence and reliability, something even the latest flat-screen monitor is unlikely to deliver.
  • Reliability: A reader online may not be aware of who was behind the scenes writing definitions for the digital dictionary he or she is consulting. Did the work have a professional, standing staff? Are the definitions easily understood? Are they technically correct? Do you know where the various spell-checkers that you use came from? With a reliable print dictionary, you know exactly what you're getting in the way of dependability.
  • Affordability: With a typical list price of $27, a good college dictionary is surely the publishing bargain of all time. So much scholarship, packaged so pleasingly, is hard to come by elsewhere.

"It's difficult to top all that in digital format," says Agnes. "And indeed, everyone does need a good dictionary."

And why is that? Well, not to belabor the obvious, but we're not all linguistic geniuses. Even dictionary editors have been known to check the spelling of "accommodate" and "wholely". Or confirm the pronunciation of "leeward" or "dour". Or tease apart the various possible meanings of "anodyne" or "cleave".

If you don't have a dictionary in the house and one in the office that can handle the examples in the preceding paragraph, you've just become the latest person to confirm the validity of the above claims.

For more than 50 years, Webster's New World® has been compiling authoritative dictionaries with clear and concise definitions for everyone who can read. From the groundbreaking College Edition to the Compact School and Office to the illustrated Children's Dictionary, Webster's New World® is the premier reference source in both print and CD-ROM formats. Selected by the Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and most other leading newspapers as their official dictionary of choice, Webster's New World College Dictionary represents the finest linguistic scholarship. Everyone needs a good dictionary -- a Webster's New World® dictionary.

For more information on the lexicographical process behind the dictionary, Editor in Chief Mike Agnes is available for interviews.

Webster's New World® -- We Define Your World®
The Webster's New World family of reference books has been "Defining Your World" for more than fifty years. From its initial mission to provide a commonsense, user-friendly dictionary specifically for American English, Webster's New World has now set the standard for clarity, ease of use, and reliability. Webster's New World is famous for providing a wealth of up-to-date and comprehensive references for the home, office, and classroom as well as pocket references for people on the go. For more information, visit wiley.com. Webster's New World is an imprint of Wiley.

About Wiley
Founded in 1807, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. has been a valued source of information and understanding for 200 years, helping people around the world meet their needs and fulfill their aspirations. Our core businesses include scientific, technical, and medical journals; encyclopedias, books, and online products and services; professional and consumer books and subscription services; and educational materials for undergraduate and graduate students and lifelong learners. Wiley's global headquarters are located in Hoboken, New Jersey with operations in the U.S., Europe, Asia, Canada, and Australia. The Company's Web site is http://www.wiley.com. Wiley is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbols JWa and JWb.


Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Visit website