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Where have all the dictionaries gone?

No one, and I mean, no one can learn (and enjoy) words without a great dictionary. And yet, so few of the homes in which I teach have a dictionary.

Now, I have the unabridged Oxford English Dictionary which takes up several feet in my library. Yes, a luxury.

And yet, for a good source of knowledge about words, nothing beats a good, solid dictionary.

Here's voting for a "dictionary in every house" campaign.


With all the technology available, it's not necessary to have a huge, paper dictionary available.  I encourage my students to use the free online website ; Besides providing definitions, synonyms, antonyms, and sample sentences for all words, it also has a microphone that pronounces the word correctly and allows students to see the translation of a word into Spanish, which helps students who have difficulty with English.  If a student doesn't know how to spell a word, they can type a word into the search engine and, if it is wrong, the site will suggest correct words.  Students access this site from their computers, laptops, electronic reading devices, and cell phones. This is much more convenient and accessible than a paper dictionary.

Hi Christine H.

I am one of those who don't believe the hocus pocus that students can achieve everything they should online. The Internet will never be a complete replacement for printed materials. I interact with several young people who give me the same story: they don't need a dictionary because they can look for any word they want online. One thing I have noted about these young people though, is that they are not familiar with the simpliest of words! I believe the pervasive of the internet has created this false sense of knowledge in young people that they no longer know when they don't know!