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Guest Lecture by Peter Sokoloski, Editor-at-Large, Merriam-Webster

Guest Lecture by Peter Sokoloski, Editor-at-Large, Merriam-Webster

The Dictionary as Data: What the Online Dictionary Tells Us About English

Peter Sokolowski, Editor-at-Large, Merriam-Webster

Time: July 23, 9:20-10:20, Harper 140

What makes a person look up a word? When do you use a dictionary? Looking up a word in the dictionary is an intimate act for each of us as individuals, but the words sought by millions of users put together tell us a surprising story about the English language. By watching trends of lookups on a heavily consulted online dictionary, lexicographers track which entries are being consulted at any given moment. Some words are perennial sources of curiosity, while others show spikes of interest triggered by news from the worlds of politics, entertainment, and sports. Some words express the general mood of the culture; others reflect a poignant specificity. At the same time, this Web traffic tells a story about the changing business of dictionaries -- and what is expected of a dictionary in the 21st century.


Thursday, July 23, 2015 - 9:15am to 10:15am


Harper 140
1116 E. 59th St.
Chicago, IL 60637

Speakers / Organizers:

Speakers / Organizers:

Peter Sokolowski