Web kills bulky dictionaries

Web kills bulky dictionaries

Web kills bulky dictionaries

With the advent of digital access, database of all kinds is just a click away. But the most popular searches turn up for simple things like a word meaning or basic definitions of relatively unknown subjects.

Unlike earlier where the previous generation fixed their language and knowledge doubts manually through dictionaries and encyclopedias, today’s generation need not leaf through a fat book for answers. All they do is reach for the comp mouse. Every package comes with its pros and cons. In this case the pros outweigh the cons, though the latter can’t be neglected either.

Availability of dictionaries and encyclopedias online and through apps in cellphones have had an adverse effect on sales on ground. Though technology has made it easier for people to become more familiar with English at the same time, the authenticity of the language is fading away from the minds of technology users.

“It is an easy way to look for things we don’t know about,” says Mayur Wadhwa, a B-Tech student. “I mean, I just have to type the word and its meaning, alongwith its phrases and its usage appears on screen. I used to work with dictionaries and encyclopedias when I was young but now it is not possible to carry them everywhere
with me. My cellphone serves the purpose,” said Mayur Wadhwa, a B.Tech student.

Because of their gadget friendly nature, digital databases are extremely popular among children and young adults. Most teens are not even familiar with the concept of using dictionaries, having been born and brought up in the digital era. “I use the internet for finding information about new words on a regular basis. Its not that we hate old style dictionaries but they are too time consuming. Therefore we cannot rely on them for quick references,” explains Saloni Tiwari, a student of journalism.

On the other hand, the elderly still remain in the favour of books for their references considering them a more reliable and trustworthy source. When Metrolife asked Seema Sharma, a housewife and mother of two, she replied “I always use dictionaries and encyclopedias to help my children in their studies. The stuff available online is very confusing and the meaning keeps changing depending on the source.”

“The authenticity of the phrases that you find on internet is definitely questionable. People these days don’t know much about styles of English. They consider British and American English the same thing. So the books are a more reliable source of knowledge.
People still come to me and ask for encyclopedias and dictionaries. The internet has had no major effect on our sales. But yes, among young children, the demand of dictionaries has fallen to a distinct degree,” states Rakesh Uppal, owner of a book shop in West Delhi.

It is up to people to decide what source to use and which one to ignore. But the question that arises is, that of reliability. And there is nothing to beat the experience of actually browsing the pages in a hard copy than browsing digitally.