Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Mark my words

Introducing the Franklin PageMark Dictionary, a digital dictionary with 80,000 definitions designed to function as a bookmark.

Neat.

But which 80,000 words does it include? A merely abridged dictionary of simpler, more common words will not do.

While the dictionary was generally beyond reproach in my random word tests, I was able to stump it a couple of times.

For example, the reasonably common word "verboten" — defined in my hardcover Merriam-Webster as "forbidden" — had the PageMark billowing smoke.


Perhaps the makers are smart enough to think most readers would know the meaning of "verboten." One hopes the dictionary does not include a definition of "forbidden."

I imagine a version for young readers. I imagine genre-specific designs and content: 50,000 words of cybervocabulary or military terms, for example.

I'd like to give one a spin.
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