Explain how dictionaries have changed across centuries

In this project, you will get a chance to compare dictionaries to account for differences in type and across time.

Here are your goals for this assignment:

1. Explain how dictionaries have changed across centuries.
2. Use the dictionary to solve problems (<link is hidden> multiple spellings, ambiguous definitions, questions about usage).

Select one of the options below for a writing assignment of at least 150 words in which you consider differences among standard English Dictionaries.

Option A: Dictionary comparison: Locate five dictionaries from different publishers. Include at least one each of the following types of dictionaries: unabridged, school, and online. Choose one of the words from the previous lesson and compare the entries for this word across all five dictionaries. Which elements of an entry does each dictionary use? Describe the similarities and differences in the elements, for example, the order of the definitions, the etymology, the illustrative quotations, the synonyms, and so on. Explain what you think these similarities and differences reveal about publishers’ purposes, concerns, and points of view.

Option B: Project: Look up the definition of truth in Webster’s 1828, 1913, and a recent edition. Are any of the elements in the entry the same over time? Which elements have changed? Specifically, how do the definitions, their order, the illustrative quotations, and the synonyms compare? What do the differences in these elements reveal about how the meaning of truth has changed over this period of time? What do you think is significant about this change when considered historically, socially, and spiritually? (Note: all dictionaries necessary to the completion of this project are available on the Internet.)

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