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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
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
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
By extension, I also invent 3-4th letter dictionaries. After
that it gets daft.
||//Jonathan Ross "Wainbow"// I am weminded of
Jenkins who, when Bwitain was deciding whether
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.
||[Max] You just tell them it's e-Ink (like the Amazon Kindle) and solar powered.
||Even electronic dictionaries are used by
teenagers only to look up rude words.
||This brings me to another point.
||The annoying prejudging of modern computer text-
handling interfaces and their attempt to guess what
Im on about.
||In the olden days, this would cause the computer to
slow down so that you couldnt type properly and it
would try and interpret what youd mistyped due to
not seeing what youre typing, and this would cause a
loop of correcting, seeking for candidates, seeing
nonsense, correcting, seeking, seeing nonsense, etc.
||Now, its 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
||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 Im 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.
||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.
||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.
||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.