Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Tough Dictionary

I Know It's Here - Give Me A Second
  [vote for,

This book will be as useful as a flood in the Alka-Seltzer factory, or braces on false teeth. It will be a dictionary in which the words will not be in alphabetical order. Would make a great "gag gift", especially for those who can't spell that well to begin with. Wouldn't you love to say "If you don't believe me.....look it up in the dictionary" !?
shaver4077, Mar 11 2004

2200 common words http://web.archive..../WordLists/GSL.html
Not exactly the most common (see link below for details). [kropotkin, Oct 04 2004]

1000 most common http://www.duboislc.../First100Words.html
[Worldgineer, Oct 04 2004]

About [krop]'s link http://web.archive....n.com/aboutgsl.html
"They are not the most common 2,000 words, though frequency was one of the factors taken into account in making the selection." [Worldgineer, Oct 04 2004]

Reverse dictionary http://www.amazon.c...00-6954351?v=glance
Indexed by definition. [kropotkin, Oct 04 2004]

Onelook online reverse dictionary http://www.onelook....se-dictionary.shtml
Not a book, obviously, but to illustrate the principle of dictionaries indexed by definition. [kropotkin, Oct 04 2004]


       Since the ordering of the words is arbitrary you could try to arrange them to read as a novel. Go easy on those definite and indefinite articles though. There may not be enough to go round.
k9island, Mar 11 2004

       Another for Jokes and Novelties category.
phundug, Mar 12 2004

       Words randomly ordered would help one of our popular lunchtime pastimes. This is to open a Chambers dictionary at a random page and try to find a word which none of the assembled know or can guess. (sad I know)   

       Alternatively you could arrange them in 'nearly alphabetical order' and sell it as a proper dictionary, thus making it frustrating at first until the owner works out the secret.
Bobble, Mar 12 2004

       A lot of words would not fall immediately after their root word if not in alphabetical order -- what fun.
dpsyplc, Mar 12 2004

       Put them in order of use. Common words at the beginning, odd never used words at the end. Useful when trying to sound witty - just flip near the back of the book, pull a few words at random, and try to appear to use them facilely.
Worldgineer, Mar 12 2004

       order them alphabetically by definition?
po, Mar 12 2004

       By length, by descending frequency of use in Charles Dickens novels, by date first used.
PeterSilly, Mar 12 2004

       Keep alphabetical order, but list definitions in reverse-alphabetical order.   

The branch of chemistry that deals with fermentation processes, as in brewing.
Worldgineer, Mar 12 2004

       Or in chapters -- Shakespearean, Middle Earth, Drake's Voyages, The Cold War, Out of Africa, ...
dpsyplc, Mar 12 2004

       [krop] Very interesting that America is the first country mentioned - 199th most commonly used word just over #200, which is "world".   

       I'd be curious to see the 1000 least used words, and to see how the list changes after it's first printing.   

       (later) Now you've gone and changed sources - your new one has no proper nouns. I linked to your original link.
Worldgineer, Mar 12 2004

       Worldgineer: Sorry. Getting slightly confused, and I managed to lose the link to the page you mentioned.   

       To add to the word frequency tables, Carroll, J. B., Davies, P., & Richman, B. (1971), The American Heritage Word Frequency Book, Houghton-Mifflin, Boston, apparently has immense tables of word usage, although it's too old to be much mentioned online. You could probably also do something with Google.   

       In addition, you can get dictionaries indexed by definition (see link). However, the online version I linked to is rubbish: for the definition "bar owner" it gave: min and bill, blood simple, saloonkeeper, tend, buffalo wings, richard copley christie, livernois-fenkell riot, letter, waif, lease.
kropotkin, Mar 12 2004

       It also occured to me that you could use a foreign language dictionary, e.g. a Japanese-English dictionary, and look at the words indexed by Japanese order (do they have a Japanese order?) to get a random word.
kropotkin, Mar 13 2004

       How about if the words are in the right order, and you scramble the definitions... hours of fun if you ask me.
zigness, Mar 13 2004


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