This article first appeared on The Next World.
A few months ago, I asked the folks at The NextWorld about why the dialect definitions in a number of books and online resources are so popular.
I wanted to know why they were popular.
Here are my answers.
It’s hard to get a sample of a sample.
I found out that the first thing that they look for in a sample is a sample that’s large enough to have enough data for a sample size calculation.
The more data you have, the more data they have.
For the latest, best-selling definitions, I collected information on how often the words were used in the text.
In addition, I looked at how often each of the definitions had the words in it, whether the definition was used to define a word in the context of a verb or adverb, and whether the definitions were related to a verb, adverb or noun.
I also collected the usage data from various dictionaries, including The Dictionary of Modern English Usage (DWEU), which I found in a book titled How We Got Here: The History of English Usage.
They’re hard to understand.
There are so many definitions in dictionaries and online resource books, and so many different definitions that they can be confusing to read and understand.
In my research, I found that the dictionaries tended to be very specific and focused on certain words.
I could read the definition of a noun without knowing much about the verb, and the definition for a verb could be hard to interpret without knowing a lot about the noun.
For example, the definition “to steal” used in The Dictionary was almost entirely focused on a noun, which is why I found the definition in the Dictionary to be a little confusing.
I’m not sure that The Next Word, which includes definitions of the words that are often cited by dictionaries as the most important to understanding the English language, was very good at explaining the meaning of the word “steal.”
They don’t make a good argument.
The dictionaries that I looked into, The Next Words, Dictionary of American Usage, The Dictionary Of Contemporary English Usage, and Dictionary of the English Language, all tend to be more focused on what a dictionary defines than what the dictionary says.
The definition for “scoop” is a definition that I found to be pretty specific.
For “toy,” the definition from The Dictionary is pretty vague, but the dictionary definition for that word is pretty clear.
I didn’t see a lot of difference in the dictionists’ definitions.
The best-seller definitions, by contrast, tend to make an argument.
For instance, I’m always amazed that The Dictionary’s definition for the word for “dumb” has a different definition for an adjective than does the definition by The NextWord.
In fact, the Dictionary’s “dubious” definition has the most popular definition in my book.
I believe the best definition for this word is the one by The New York Times.
It says “to get one’s own way” (and I don’t know how this adjective got there, but it is a common one for a dictionary definition).
They have a limited audience.
While there are dictionaries with tens of thousands of definitions, the word definition in The NextWords dictionary is probably the most common one in use today.
It has over 2.5 million definitions.
I used that number in a research paper I published in January on the best-sellers of the definition that came from The New World Dictionary of English.
The most popular dictionary definition in this list was The Dictionary, which has more than 7.5 billion definitions.
In the next table, I show how the most-used dictionaries in terms of number of definitions are divided up by the number of people who read and follow their definitions.
For more about the use of dictionaries to help define the English word, I recommend this article by the New York University’s School of English professor, Michael Biesecker, which also includes a study of the usage of dictionary definitions in English and German.