LINGUIST List 31.1673

Tue May 19 2020

FYI: Understanding English Dictionaries - MOOC

Editor for this issue: Everett Green <>

Date: 18-May-2020
From: Barbara McGillivray <>
Subject: Understanding English Dictionaries - MOOC
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Understanding English Dictionaries

With Hilary Nesi, Michael Rundell, Sharon Creese and Barbara McGillivray

Everybody uses dictionaries, but most people know very little about them. This is particularly the case since dictionaries went online – it’s easy to look up a word and find a dictionary entry on a computer or a mobile phone, without being aware of which dictionary the entry came from, why the word was included in the dictionary, how the dictionary compilers assembled this information, or how valid it is.

If you want to be better-informed about dictionary choices, explore the range of information that dictionary entries can provide, and learn more about dictionary compilation processes, register for our Understanding English Dictionaries MOOC at

The course is free, and starts on 18 May 2020. It runs for 6 weeks. There is no commitment: you can do as much or as little as you like.

The course will give you the opportunity to:

- access relevant online resources
- experiment with corpus data
- listen to lexicographers explaining what they do
- interact with the materials and each other

The course covers the following areas:

Week 1: The place of dictionaries in the modern world
Week 2: What’s in a dictionary entry
Week 3: Where the information in dictionaries comes from
Week 4: How dictionary-makers select words
Week 5: Meanings and dictionary definitions
Week 6: Dictionaries, research and the future

Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics; History of Linguistics; Lexicography; Text/Corpus Linguistics

Subject Language(s): English (eng)

Page Updated: 19-May-2020