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An acquaintence recently observed my work desk, on which I have five or six reference books, including a dictionary. He asked me why I do not simply use an online dictionary, since my work computer is right there. I told him I sometimes do use an online dictionary. Much of the time it seems more convenient to pull out the book dictionary and leaf through it, I added.

If you still use the book form of dictionaries, thesauri and phone books, tell me about it!

When I can't find a word or name in the aforementioned books, I do check online resources, of course.

I know I'm not the only "old fashioned" person left, even on VB.
 

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I don't use a paper English dictionary, but I have a really nice hardcover Spanish dictionary that I use fairly often. I also use paper phone directories all of the time, both at work and at home.

I realize that dictionary information is dictionary information, whether it be digital or in printed form, but for some reason it seems more real and authoritative when it's in a physical book. :shrug:

Plus, I like books.
 

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I occasionally use a paper dictionary, but I will often use dictionary.com instead.

Paper phone books, yes

How about old-school encyclopedias? It amuses me when students will ask me for help with their Google searches, and I suggest that they look their topic up in the encyclopedia. They look at me like I just grew another head.
 

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I don't even have a paper dictionary. I never have had one that was any good-- all I had was a crummy student dictionary. So I use online dictionaries. I don't have a paper thesaurus, either. But I do have a paper law dictionary (I swear, it will be the last profession to be dragged kicking and screaming into the digital age) and a paper dictionary of quotations.

I still use paper phone books, as they seem to be more reliable than the online ones so far.

One thing I really enjoyed as a kid was reading the encyclopedia. There were so many interesting topics, and so many fascinating topic juxtapositions, that I could be engrossed for hours in one volume. At one time I had a CD-ROM version of Encarta, and it was a total piece of crud. It lacked the sort of detailed discussion I was used to getting out of an encyclopedia, and was barely more than a dictionary with pictures. Plus, it was harder to browse topics just for fun. So I do think I'd like a good set of paper encyclopedias when I own a home with lots of bookshelves like the one I grew up in.

I'm ranging a bit astray here, but I'm also a fan of paper maps and atlases for the same reason. I love looking through the atlas. I have a big fat hardback one.
 

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Yes, if I'm not at a computer, and of course I use foreign language dictionaries.

I also use phone books (though I rarely need to), and I have an encyclopedia set (from 1988, I think).
 

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I still use paper dictionaries. Most of the on-line ones have more restricted and more superficial coverage than the paper ones.

I have a Webster's Unabridged Dictionary in paper form. The Webster's on-line is just equivalent to their collegiate version. The Oxford English Dictionary on-line is equivalent to the compact version, not the whole OED (which I think you can subscribe to on-line, but for several hundred dollars per year.) So, you are not really getting the full scope of the dictionary on-line. Plus, printed dictionaries have a lot of other information in the front and back that on-line dictionaries don't have.
 

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I use paper and electronic dictionaries about equally. It mostly depends on whether Internet Explorer is already open. I'm that lazy.

I've never used an online thesarus for some reason. I used Microsoft Word's built-in thesaurus pretty often, but now that I finally own a paper one I like to use it too. Word doesn't have the best vocabulary.

It really says something for my dictionary (and observation) skills that I just struggled really hard to spell thesaurus, then remembered that my thesaurus is sitting right next to me, with that word on its cover.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe View Post

The Oxford English Dictionary on-line is equivalent to the compact version, not the whole OED (which I think you can subscribe to on-line, but for several hundred dollars per year.) So, you are not really getting the full scope of the dictionary on-line. Plus, printed dictionaries have a lot of other information in the front and back that on-line dictionaries don't have.
The Compact OED is the full OED printed in teensy type. There is a "shorter" OED, but the OED Online is complete and only available by subscription.
 

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Originally Posted by Tesseract View Post

One thing I really enjoyed as a kid was reading the encyclopedia. There were so many interesting topics, and so many fascinating topic juxtapositions, that I could be engrossed for hours in one volume. At one time I had a CD-ROM version of Encarta, and it was a total piece of crud. It lacked the sort of detailed discussion I was used to getting out of an encyclopedia, and was barely more than a dictionary with pictures. Plus, it was harder to browse topics just for fun. So I do think I'd like a good set of paper encyclopedias when I own a home with lots of bookshelves like the one I grew up in.
OMG I did that too! As a teenager, when I was done with homework, I'd relax after school and on the weekends by leafing through the 1971 edition World Book Encyclopedia! I picked up lots of little trivia that way.
My mother still talks about like I'm weird or something.


Anyway, I certainly do use a paper dictionary. Especially since I'm on dial-up at home and it's easier to pull a book off the shelf than dial in and wait for dictionary.com or wiktionary to load. Although I do use those websites on occasion, especially when I'm at work and it's easier to just log onto the internet than get up and open the dictionary. I have other paper reference books, like a crossword puzzle dictionary (paperback, now split in two down the middle because I've opened it about 2 million times), a new Roget's thesaurus to replace the old edition I got back in the 6th grade (which I still have), etc. I even have the 1997 edition of the World Book Encyclopedia, although I don't look at it much anymore, even for fun.
Wikipedia spoiled me; because it has a zillion entries constantly being updated, an article in a paper encyclopedia from just ten years ago can seem outdated. And with telephone directories, I have several of them because they just come, but I rarely use them. I prefer to go online for that kind of information.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amy SF View Post

OMG I did that too! As a teenager, when I was done with homework, I'd relax after school and on the weekends by leafing through the 1971 edition World Book Encyclopedia! I picked up lots of little trivia that way.
My mother still talks about like I'm weird or something.
I was the same way. My favorite thing in the world was reading encyclopedias. I especially liked the older, obviously out of date ones :nerd:
 

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Originally Posted by WonderRandy View Post

I was the same way. My favorite thing in the world was reading encyclopedias. I especially liked the older, obviously out of date ones :nerd:
OMG, my grandparents had a set of encyclopdedias so old they must have been 50's vintage, maybe even WWII. It was like a time machine.
 

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I don't own any dictionaries. The ones I used growing up (English and English-French) were the house ones, so they weren't mine to take when I moved out. I normally use online dictionaries, now.

I do still have a paper phone book that I use, and I have a paper thesaurus somewhere.
 

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I use an online dictionary occasionally, but I much prefer my paper dictionary. I don't know why, but I love the feeling of having all those words in my hands! Sometimes I like to open my dictionary to some random page and scan it to learn new words. I know, I'm a geek.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by carnelian View Post

I use an online dictionary occasionally, but I much prefer my paper dictionary. I don't know why, but I love the feeling of having all those words in my hands! Sometimes I like to open my dictionary to some random page and scan it to learn new words. I know, I'm a geek.
Nah, nothing geeky about a good vocabulary.
 
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