September 19, 2008 / 2:14 PM / 9 years ago

Democracy of language in new Internet dictionary

<p>A woman reads a book while sitting inside a display of an oversized book before the official opening of the 2007 book fair in Leipzig. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle</p>

LONDON (Reuters) - Not satisfied with regular updates of printed dictionaries compiled by professionals, a new website has thrown open the definition of words to all comers.

Wordia.com offers everyone the chance to record and upload a video of themselves defining their chosen word in a complete democratization of the language that will have Samuel Johnson, the compiler of the first dictionary, turning in his grave.

One early offering is the word “bungalow” --“One storey house. Grannies live in it. Often with cats. Originally an Indian word.”

Another offering is “nascent” which suggests that wordia is a nascent technology that “takes something quite dull like a dictionary and makes it not quite as dull”.

The organizers hope their new online audio-visual dictionary will become a living language archive. Time will tell.

Reporting by Jeremy Lovell; editing by Paul Casciato

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