Is there some super-secret linguistics resource that sorts dictionaries by prescriptivism/descriptivism? Either in a binary chart or along a spectrum? Which dictionaries are known to fit these categories, and which are known to straddle them?
Recently some German friends claimed that owning a dictionary of your native language was a very English-language thing. i.e. that its very unusual in Germany to have a German-German Dictionary in the home / or to own one growing up. Is this true for other native language speakers? Is this even true of Germany at all? [more inside]
What is the best Kindle Spanish-English dictionary? [more inside]
Three of my all-time favorite books are The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Allusions, 1000 Sayings of History*, and Asimov's Biographical Encyclopedia of Science & Technology. Beyond the divergent content, what ties these three titles together are that they consist of rather a lot of very short (<500-word) histories. Now that I've memorized these three, I'm hungry for more. What other books are out there like these? What are the best published** encyclopedic miscellanies? [more inside]
My friend alleges that dictionary writers start with the letter M, but when I asked, "Why?" he had no response. Apparently he just saw it on QI (with Stephen Fry). Extensive googling has produced no results, and I won't be able to sleep until we get to the bottom of this. HALP! [more inside]
Are dictionaries self-defined? [more inside]
What are the best resources for professional Hebrew-English translators? Dictionaries, word lists, machine translation programs, etc. Online, offline, dead-tree all fine. [more inside]
Where can I find free (and obscure) downloadable dictionaries? [more inside]
Any recommendations for a very good Japanese or Japanese-English dictionary? [more inside]
When does a word attain enough critical mass to enter a dictionary? [more inside]
I'm researching why and when people use online dictionaries instead of (or in addition to) paper ones, and vice versa. I'd love some feedback from MeFites as to which they prefer and why. [more inside]
What's the difference between the words "proffer" and "offer"? This has been driving me mad for some reason for a few days now. Every dictionary I consult basically seems to say that they mean the same thing. But surely there must be a difference, right?
What's the best dictionary to use in conjunction with Word (Windows)? I am a writer and would like to search/cross reference definitions--and synonyms, if possible--directly from my file in Word, and without going online. Webster's Third New Unabridged is my go-to dictionary, but the reviews of its CD-ROM leave me confused. Any advice would be appreciated.