Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
carpe demi

idea: add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random

meta: news, help, about, links, report a problem

account: browse anonymously, or get an account and write.



Second Letter Dictionary

For when the first letter is a bit odd
  [vote for,

Dictionaries, for the younger crowd, are books that physically list of all of the words. Largely they are used to check spelling, or more fully understand a word which inhabits the less fashionable regions of ones vocabulary.

Perhaps the most obvious and tediously pedestrian feature of dictionaries is that the words are arranged in alphabetical order. Of the first letter. This is great with words like "Drain" or "Rainbow". No lexicographical gymnastics required for those gems. Things get more sticky however, when words start with unusual letters. "Pterodactyl", "Gnome", "Write" or "Wrist" are examples here.

Now, if you heard one of those words, you could look up "Terodactyl" only to find you didn't find it. This is where the Second letter dictionary comes in. You think "hmm, maybe it starts with one of those odd silent letters, ill look up "Terodactyl" in my second letter dictionary". Sure enough, there it is "pTerodactyl: huge flying thing, extinct". And you could carry on with your life.

It has come to my attention, working in a somewhat international workplace, that the foreigners need dictionaries more than most. One such foreigner has said that the first letter is often obscured by regional accents. Either leaving off a letter " 'orrible" or being a bit Jonathan Ross "Wainbow". There would seem to be functionality here too.

By extension, I also invent 3-4th letter dictionaries. After that it gets daft.

bs0u0155, Apr 06 2016


       //Jonathan Ross "Wainbow"// I am weminded of Woy Jenkins who, when Bwitain was deciding whether or not to join the EEC, said that he hoped "that this vewy important debate can be had without any wancour on either side".   

       Whilst I like the idea in theory, it is perhaps 20 years too late. I am pretty sure that if you handed the average teenager a printed dictionary, they would check the spine to find the on/off switch.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 06 2016

       [Max] You just tell them it's e-Ink (like the Amazon Kindle) and solar powered.
hippo, Apr 07 2016

       Even electronic dictionaries are used by teenagers only to look up rude words.
Ian Tindale, Apr 07 2016

       This brings me to another point.   

       The annoying prejudging of modern computer text- handling interfaces and their attempt to guess what I’m on about.   

       In the olden days, this would cause the computer to slow down so that you couldn’t type properly and it would try and interpret what you’d mistyped due to not seeing what you’re typing, and this would cause a loop of correcting, seeking for candidates, seeing nonsense, correcting, seeking, seeing nonsense, etc.   

       Now, it’s all so quick that it might well work, except that quite often the first letter I hit was mistyped (quite naturally, as the keyboard was not oriented to my angle of approach yet), leading to a delay while it seeks for candidates, while I simultaneously backspace the required number of characters to start again. Except that the delay introduced by the system means I backspace minus one character, which is of course, an incorrect character, so on it goes, looking for words that of course begin with the incorrect character.   

       The point is, it can never find a viable candidate because it stupidly looks for the first letter and places too much importance on that. If it looked at the rest of the word I’m in the process of typing, it might realise that the initial letter was not only incorrect, but should have no weight at all in terms of matching candidates. As things stand, the flawed assumption by the computer is always that I must have typed the first character correctly, and it is only consequent characters that may be incorrect.
Ian Tindale, Apr 07 2016

       I don't think that would work how you describe. At least, not well.
I think what you really want is a phonetic dictionary. I don't know whether they exist already.
Loris, Apr 07 2016

       o e, r ot o e, hat s he uestion: hether tis obler n he ind o uffer. he lings nd rrows f utrageous ortune, r o ake rms gainst a ea f roubles.
popbottle, Apr 09 2016

       The nearest thing to this that actually exists is the backwards dictionary, generally of a dead language, which is invaluable to those scholars who often have to work with broken-off bits of stone inscription, or torn fragments of papyrus, bearing the ends of words, but not their beginnings.   

       I don't think those things ever had very long print runs, but I'm certain they do exist.   

       However, they are not this idea. This idea is excellent, except that it will be superseded by "[Name of Smartphone AI]!" "Yes?" "What's a Terry Dackle?". Probably last week.
pertinax, Apr 09 2016


back: main index

business  computer  culture  fashion  food  halfbakery  home  other  product  public  science  sport  vehicle