1887

n Lexikos - From print to digital : implications for dictionary policy and lexicographic conventions

Volume 25, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1684-4904
  • E-ISSN: 2224-0039
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Abstract

Editorial policies and lexicographic conventions have evolved over hundreds of years. They developed at a time when dictionaries were printed books of finite dimensions - as they have been for almost the whole of their history. In many cases, styles which we take for granted as "natural" features of dictionaries are in reality expedients designed to compress maxi-mum information into the limited space available. A simple example is the kind of "recursive" definition found in many English dictionaries where a nominalization (such as ) is defined in terms of the related verb ("the act of assimilating or state of being assimilated"), and the user is required to make a second look-up (to the base word). Is this an ideal solution, or was it favoured simply as a less space-intensive alternative to a self-sufficient explanation?


As dictionaries gradually migrate from print to digital media, space constraints disappear. Some problems simply evaporate. To give a trivial example, the need for abbreviations, tildes and the like no longer exists (though a surprising number of dictionaries maintain these conventions even in their digital versions). So the question arises whether we need to revisit, and re-evaluate, the entire range of editorial policies and conventions in the light of changed circumstances. This paper looks at some familiar editorial and presentational conventions, and considers which are no longer appropriate in the digital medium - and what new policies might replace them.


Redigeringsbeleide en leksikografiese norme ontwikkel al oor honderde jare. Dit het ontstaan in die tyd toe 'n woordeboek 'n gedrukte band was met vasgestelde dimensies - soos dit was vir die grootste deel van die geskiedenis van die woordeboek. In baie gevalle is die styl-elemente wat as "natuurlike" eienskappe van woordeboeke beskou word, in der waarheid hulpmiddels wat ontwerp is om die maksimum hoeveelheid inligting in 'n beperkte beskikbare ruimte saam te pers. 'n Eenvoudige voorbeeld is 'n rekursiewe definisie wat in 'n aantal Engelse woordeboeke verskyn, waarby 'n nominalisering (soos bv. ) in terme van die verwante werkwoord gedefineer word ("die daad om te assimileer of die toestand van geassimileer wees"), en die gebruiker word genoodsaak om 'n tweede keer (die basiswoord) na te slaan. Is hierdie 'n ideale oplossing of word dit verkies bloot omdat dit minder ruimte in beslag neem as 'n onafhanklike verduideliking?
Soos woordeboeke geleidelik van druk- na digitale medium beweeg, verdwyn hierdie ruimtebeperkings. Sekere probleme verdamp eenvoudig. Om 'n nietige voorbeeld te gee, die behoefte aan afkortings, tildes, en dies meer bestaan nie meer nie (alhoewel 'n verbasende aantal woordeboeke hierdie norme selfs in hul digitale weergawes behou). Die vraag ontstaan dus of ons die volledige reeks redigeringsbeleide en norms in die lig van die veranderde omstandighede behoort te beskou en te herevalueer. Hierdie studie neem 'n paar bekende redigeringsbeleide en aanbiedingsnorme in oënskou, en oorweeg dan watter daarvan nie meer toepaslik is in die digitale medium nie en met watter nuwe beleide hulle vervang kan word.

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/content/lexikos/25/1/EJC180581
2015-01-01
2017-11-18

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