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Definitions in Google

A good dictionary is a fantastic asset to have. The one I have on my desk now, the Webster's New World Dictionary, Second College Edition, I've had since my senior year in high school, which was a long, long time ago (1976, to be exact.)

That means that there are lots of words from the IT industry that aren't in there, or don't have an up-to-date definition: browser is only in there as the noun form of browse, referring either to animals eating, or examining or reading in a casual way; microprocessor isn't there; the first definition of computer is a person who computes, while the device itself is the second definition; nothing for blog, of course; it was a small surprise to find that modem was in there, but they actually go back to mainframe days.

Then a note in eWeek caught my eye. If you enter


in a Google search, it will look for definitions for you. Define:blog came up with eleven definitions; Define:router came up with a page full of definitions to the device that's hooked into my computer network. (The last definition on the page was for the woodworking tool that I have in the basement.) It also works for acronyms such as ROTFLMAO and RTFM.

Some terms are still too new. Define:wiki didn't turn up anything. It will be interesting to see when that's rectified.


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