In this book, the development of the English dictionary is examined, along with the kinds of dictionary available, the range of information they contain, factors affecting their usage, and public attitudes towards them. As well as an descriptive analysis of word meaning, the author considers whether a thematic, thesaurus-like presentation might be more suited than the traditional alphabetical format to the description of words and their meaning.
1. What is a word? 2. Where did English words come from? 3. Dictionaries: the repositories of words 4. Words and the world 5. Words and words 6. Analysing word meanings 7. Meaning from combinations 8. Why dictionaries? 9. How to define a word 10. More than meaning 11. Different dictionaries 12. Especially for the learner 13. Who uses a dictionary for what? 14. Not alphabetical 15. The craft of lexicography 16. Lexicology, lexicography and semantics