Say "Bye, Bye" to the Dictionary as We Know It

Monday, November 05, 2012

Today I heard a news story that really saddened me. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary as we know it will no longer be published in printed format. After this run of the 2012 copyright edition, all dictionaries from the No 1 publisher in this arena will be available online only.

That's not only sad, but rather disappointing to me as a parent who recently introduced my 2nd grader to how to use this wonderful educational tool.

I seem to recall that the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary was a required book purchase for all incoming freshman when I went away to college. Between my husband and I we have five hardcover dictionaries in our family library. We will not soon discard these copies now that I know they are being discontinued.

When I was a child, my most influential grammar school English teacher almost always answered our questions with "Look it up in the dictionary." Now I find myself instead saying to my child, "Well, I don't know. Let's look it up on the Internet." Maybe I'm to blame for this situation.

If you can't live without the printed version of the dictionary, I suggest you hold on to your Merriam-Webster with all your might! Either they will go up dramatically in value or will be found at your local book fair for pennies. Only time will tell.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Wow, that's awful. I see people moving further and further away from things like dictionaries, thesauruses and encyclopedias now that most people have internet access just about everywhere. When I told my 12 year old daughter's school counselor that I was concerned that her spelling skills weren't as strong as they ought to be, she told me that "schools don't really push spelling anymore, because now kids have access to computers that spell check for them". I was horrified. Thanks for the head's up...we have several dictionaries around here, but I want to have a couple of extras for back up now.
    3135 days ago
  • SUNSET09
    Wow! Who would have thunk it!?!??! Where are we heading?!?! Such a sad state of affairs, however this is the world we live in. Thanx so much for sharing! emoticon emoticon
    3140 days ago
    This makes me sad as well. I am a writer, and next to my Thesaurus, my dictionary is the most used book I own!

    I teach English to Immigrant and International students at my school. They have all sorts of fancy, usually on-line, translators and dictionaries with them in our lessons. I often race them to see who can look up an unknown word faster (me in my handy-dandy large Oxford dictionary, they on their new-fangled contraptions). I usually win!

    3141 days ago
    Wow, the end of an era. Thank you for sharing this information, I think I'll get my self a new hard copy before I can't!
    3142 days ago
    It is indeed a sad thing!!!
    3142 days ago
    Had no idea. Use my dictionary a lot, to one real soonme it's faster than using internet. Mine is in pretty bad shape. Guess better get a new
    3142 days ago
    Wow, that's amazing. Life sure is different now than when we were kids. Funny thing is that I was badly affected by Sandy and after over a week, finally got my power back. Wonder what we would have done if we needed the dictionary for some school work. I think everyone should have a dictionary in their homes!!!
    3142 days ago
    I can't believe this. Thank you so much for sharing. I too absolutely love LOVE LOOOOOVE my dictionary. I cannot imagine growing up without having one. There is something different about turning the pages of a book. I would go to look up one word and wind up reading and learning new words and definitions in the process. This is a sad time indeed. I will most certainly pick up a new copy. Thanks for the info.
    3143 days ago
    What a shock. Wasn't ready for that. Saddened like many of you have expressed. I'm hanging onto to mine as tattered and worn as it is.
    3143 days ago
  • no profile photo CD12282919
    emoticon sad to see it go. I will need to go out and buy another one to keep on hand for the grand kids emoticon .
    3143 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4653029
    I was thinking about books in general just the other day when I went to the library. With the I-Pads, Kindle and all of the other reading devices that we have today, how long do you think the printed word will survive? It's a shame, I think!
    3143 days ago
    Wow, this does indeed make me very sad. Thank you for letting us know. My last copy, with the red cover fell apart I used it so much. I am going to go get another one and cherish it.
    3143 days ago
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