I have always owned and used a dictionary as far back as I can remember. If you had parents like mine, getting English and Mathematics right was a priority. There was no room for failure. Of course, getting English right always meant having and consulting a dictionary on a regular basis. All through Primary School, Secondary School and University, I have always had one close by. You know, the big and really extensive ones. My favourite back in school was Oxford Advanced Learner’s.
As an adult, I had paper dictionaries too. As a matter of fact, I am betting that if I rummage through my study hard enough, I can still find a worn out copy. Yes; worn out, and no longer used. You see, with my addiction to smartphones in the last seven years, I shifted completely from paper dictionaries to software dictionaries on mobile. As such, a must-have app on my mobile is a dictionary.
A very versatile one that is available regardless of what mobile you use as long as it has a web browser is the mobile version of Dictionary.com. It is available at m.dictionary.com. I am aware that Dictionary.com also has apps for Android, BlackBerry, and iOS.
Of course, there are other dictionaries available across the different mobile platforms. Simply launch the mobile app store on your device and search for the term “dictionary”. You will be presented with a number of options, some free, and some commercial.
My current favourite is Merriam-Webster Dictionary. I have found it an essential resource, and make sure that I have it on my primary smartphone. It is available for Android, Symbian, iOS, PalmOS, BlackBerry, and even the now dead Windows Mobile. Here are some of the common Merriam-Webster features for all mobile devices:
- Merriam-Webster dictionaries offer clear and precise explanations and translations
- No Internet connection required: simply download the dictionary to your phone
- Hyperlinks between articles and directions
- Audio to help you get the pronunciation of words right
- Search History of the last 20-30 words (which is very nifty)
- Dictionary installation on memory card to save main memory-space
Merriam-Webster is easily my preferred choice, but as already highlighted, there are credible alternatives for your mobile platform and device.
Consult a Dictionary today!
To answer the question, When was the last time you consulted a dictionary? Today. About 30 minutes ago, actually.
Whatever you do, so long as you communicate everyday in the English language, you should have a dictionary handy – and actually use it!