ZeePedia
Journalistic Writing

DICTIONARY-A WRITER’S LANGUAGE TOOL:KINDS OF INFORMATION

<< ALL ABOUT WORDS:HOW WORDS ARE FORMED?:SUFFIXES
PARTS OF SPEECH:Noun Gender, Noun Plurals, Countable Nouns >>
img
Journalistic Writing ­ MCM310
VU
LECTURE 9
DICTIONARY-A WRITER'S LANGUAGE TOOL
TYPES OF DICTIONARIES
Unabridged
dictionaries
are
commonly
found
in
libraries
on
dictionary
stands.
They comprehensively cover all words that are known at the time that they are printed.
Check
the
date
when
looking
for
new
words
or
slang
expressions.
Titles of common unabridged dictionaries are:
·
Webster's Third New International Dictionary (Ref PE 1625.W36)
·
Random House Dictionary (Ref PE 1625.R3)
An abridged dictionary has been shortened by including only the most common words or the vocabulary of a
group. For example, an abridged collegiate dictionary would have words needed by the average college student.
Titles of common abridged dictionaries are:
·
Random House College edition (Ref PE 1625.R34)
·
Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (Ref PE1628.M36)
·
Funk & Wagnalls Standard College Dictionary (Ref PE 1628.S586)
·
American Heritage Dictionary (Ref PE 1625.A54)
A
historical
dictionary
gives
the
etymology
or
derivation
of
words.
A  word  at  the  time  of  Shakespeare  may  now  have  different  meanings  than  then.
Reading historical materials require using these specialized dictionaries.
·
Oxford English Dictionary (Ref PE 1625.O87)
·
Dictionary of American English on Historical Principles (Ref PE 2835.C7)
·
Dictionary of Americanisms on Historical Principles (Ref PE 2835.D5)
Some
dictionaries
emphasize
certain
aspects
of
the
language.
Slang  includes  popular  expressions  which  may  not  be  considered  proper  in  formal  use.
Some
slang
may
have
vulgar,
obscene
or
profane
connotations.
In academic settings formal language usually does not include slang or non-standard forms of expression.
Usage
guides
will
set
the
standards
for
formal
writing
or
expression.
A
thesaurus
is
a
dictionary
that
gives
synonyms.
USING A DICTIONARY
Remember that preliminary pages (first pages) often explain abbreviations and other special features.
End
pages
may
have
tables
or
charts.
The auxiliary pages (other pages) may also have information, such as a list of colleges or cities.
A
separate
appendix
may
give
geographical
and
biographical
entries.
The table of contents or list of illustrations will help locate information on these preliminary or auxiliary pages.
Especially school textbooks may have a vocabulary or glossary section.
Glossary is a list of technical words or expressions used in a field of study or book.
As mentioned before, appendix or auxiliary sections of books may contain a glossary section.
Dictionary
order
has
become
a
synonym
for
alphabetical
order.
29
img
Journalistic Writing ­ MCM310
VU
KINDS OF INFORMATION
Elementary students often are tested on their ability to use dictionaries. Team games can be used to develop
skill with:
·  alphabetical order
·
guide words
·
pronunciation
·
syllabication
·
derivation
·
etymology
·
synonyms
·
antonyms
Guide words are placed at the top of a page to help the user find the correct page alphabetically.
Pronunciation involves using various symbols to represent sounds. News broadcasting organizations may have
development
their
own
dictionaries
for
names
of
people
and
places.
Syllabication shows how the word is divided when the word is separated at the end of a line of print.
Derivation
traces
what
root
words
are
used
to
form
the
word.
Understanding from which language the word comes helps explain differences in phonetic rules.
"Goethe" may not seem to be pronounced the way it was spelled except to those who understand the German
language. Our English language is a result of the many cultures from which it is drawn.
Etymology is the study of the word's history including both derivation and how the word's usage has changed.
Usage reflects how different areas use words in unique ways.
Meaning
or
definition
is
explained
or
shown
through
examples.
Synonyms
(words
with
the
same
meaning)
and
antonyms  (words  with  the  opposite
meaning)  also  contribute  to
an  accurate
definition.
Illustrative quotations, such as those from Shakespeare give insight into meaning and derivation.
Maps
and
plates
of
illustration
give
pictures
to
provide
reference
points.
For example, maps can show where Guam is located in relation to other islands.
Geographical
facts
and
history
also
give
the
significance
of
places.
Guam was the site of a major battle in World War II.
Biographical  facts  are  needed  because  many  words  have  origins  in  personal  names.
A "curie" is one word that is associated with the scientists who discovered it.
A dictionary that contains geographical and biographical information is called an encyclopedic dictionary.
Some dictionaries may have a separate section with geographical and biographical information.
PURCHASING A DICTIONARY
Check if your dictionary at minimum offers:
1. Publication date
2. Full definition and examples
30
img
Journalistic Writing ­ MCM310
VU
3. Pronunciations (more than one)
4. Word class
5. Label (register)
HISTORY AND VALUE
William Caxton (c1483) produced a French-English dictionary. Travellers needed a bilingual dictionary when
visiting countries with a different language than their own. Ancient writings were not useful until they could be
translated.
The  discovery  of  the  Rosetta  Stone  in  1799
helped
unlock
many
ancient
languages.
The stone was written in Greek and two forms of Egyptian.
In 1822 the messages were finally deciphered.
In
1755,
Samuel
Johnson
produced
the
earliest
English
language
dictionary.
A facsimile reprint of this dictionary is available here at the McKay Library in the Reference collection. (Ref PE
1620.J6 1979) As a facsimile reprint, letters appear as they were written in 1755. Alternate spellings are given
without preference. Some word derivation is shown.
Noah Webster printed the first modern dictionary in 1828 which set the standard for spelling and
pronunciation.
His dictionaries also distinguished American word usage from usage common in England.
Sir
James
Murray
gathered
historical
background
on
words.
The Oxford English Dictionary traces the origin of words and their usage through time with examples.
While the British usage is emphasized, recent editions include English usage in other parts of the world. This
dictionary is now available as an Internet subscription under
SUMMARY
Dictionaries
are
important
reference
tools
for
writers
to
use.
Different kinds of dictionaries are available for various needs.
31
Table of Contents:
  1. INTRODUCTION TO JOURNALISTIC WRITING:Practical, THINGS TO KNOW
  2. QUALITIES OF GOOD WRITERS
  3. QUALITIES OF GOOD WRITERS
  4. QUALITIES OF GOOD WRITING:Achieve appropriate readability:
  5. QUALITIES OF GOOD WRITING:Be concise, Be creative, Be correct
  6. THE PROCESS OF WRITING:INVENTION, WHEN YOU START TO WRITE
  7. THE PROCESS OF WRITING II:ORGANIZING, DRAFTING, REVISING
  8. ALL ABOUT WORDS:HOW WORDS ARE FORMED?:SUFFIXES
  9. DICTIONARY-A WRITER’S LANGUAGE TOOL:KINDS OF INFORMATION
  10. PARTS OF SPEECH:Noun Gender, Noun Plurals, Countable Nouns
  11. BASIC CLAUSE PATTERNS
  12. ACTIVE AND PASSSIVE VOICE
  13. MODIFIERS AND SENTENCE TYPES:COMPOUND SENTENCES
  14. REPORTED SPEECH:Indirect Questions, Direct commands
  15. GRAMMATICAL SENTENCE – ISSUES:SUBJECT-VERB AGREEMENT
  16. GRAMMATICAL SENTENCE – ISSUES II:SENTENCE FRAGMENTS
  17. EFFECTIVE SENTENCE:PARALLELISM, NEEDED WORDS, SHIFTS
  18. STYLE: GUIDELINE AND PITFALLS I:COLLOQUIAL VS FORMAL, CIRCUMLOCUTION
  19. STYLE: GUIDELINE AND PITFALLS II:AMBIGUITY, REDUNDANCY, EUPHEMISM:
  20. PARAGRAPH WRITING: TYPES AND TECHNIQUES:STRUCTURE
  21. PARAGRAPH WRITING: TYPES AND TECHNIQUES:Putting on Our Play
  22. ESSAY WRITING:VARIOUS STRATEGIES FOR ESSAYS, PROMPTS
  23. SIGNAL WORDS:Non word Emphasis Signals
  24. EXPOSITORY WRITING:LOGICAL FALLACIES, APPEAL TO EMOTION
  25. THE WRITING STYLES: REPORT and NARRATIVE WRITING, SHORT REPORTS
  26. THE WRITING STYLES: DESCRIPTIVE AND PERSUASIVE WRITINGS, Observation
  27. RESEARCH WRITING AND DOCUMNETING SOURCES:Handling Long Quotations
  28. Summary and Précis Writing:CHARACTERISTICS OF GOOD SUMMARY
  29. Punctuation:THE PERIOD, THE COMMA, THE SEMICOLON, THE COLON
  30. MECHANICS:ABBREVIATIONS, NUMBERS, SPELLING, THE HYPHEN
  31. READING SKILLS FOR WRITERS:EDUCATED READING, STEPS
  32. PARTS OF A NEWSPAPER:Box-out, By-line, Caption, Exclusive, Feature
  33. THE LANGUAGE OF THE NEWSPAPERS II:BROADSHEET NEWSPAPER
  34. News Writing and Style I:WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A NEWSPAPER
  35. NEWS WRITING II:Accuracy, Clarity, Style, Qualities of Effective Leads
  36. EDITORIAL WRITING:WRITING AN EDITORIAL:STRUCTURING AN EDITORIAL
  37. WRITING FEATURES:GENERATING FEATURE STORY IDEAS
  38. WRITING COLUMNS:Column and a news report, Purpose, Audience
  39. WRITING ARTICLES FOR NEWSPAPERS:The Heading, The Lead
  40. WRITING ANALYSIS:purpose, scope, method, results, recommendations
  41. LETTERS TO EDITORS:Four important aspects about letters, Organizing letters
  42. BROADCAST AND WEB NEWS WRITING:WRITE CONCISELY, BROADCAST STYLE
  43. WRITING PRESS RELEASE, REVIEWS AND OBITUARIES:Summary of Content:
  44. THE ART OF INTERVIEWINGS
  45. FINAL THOUGHTS:Practical, Job-Related, Social, Stimulating, Therapeutic