Okay, maybe someone is not going to delete your favorite word from the dictionary, but imagine if there is a word you love and it never made it into the dictionary in the first place. That’s just as bad in the end because until the word is available in the dictionary you can’t share it, refer to it’s definition, and most importantly you can’t use it in Scrabble.
Words are the building blocks of language. If we want to have more nuanced and powerful ways to communicate, we need to make sure we aren’t losing important words.
Words also evolve, and the fact is that some physical dictionary companies can’t keep up. It’s not so much a technology issue, but just that traditional dictionaries often have a lengthy process for inclusion.
The unique solution?
Let’s imagine that you could engage a team of machine learning experts and combine them with one of the most loved online word resources on the net. That describes what Erin of Wordnik is doing with this crowdfunding campaign.
The beauty of Wordnik is that once the machine learning team has found and added the word, other people can come and add to the word’s definition because Wordnik brings together data from multiple sources.
A motivation for Wordnik’s project is that researchers reviewed a large number of documents and found that a staggering number of words were not yet included in traditional dictionaries.
Who are the makers behind Wordnik?
Erin is probably one of the best people on the planet to lead this effort to save a million lost words. She knows the strengths and weaknesses of existing dictionaries because she has been working with them for over 20 years.
Erin is the founder of Wordnik. Wordnik serves more than 1.5 Million unique visitors every month, and has several million page views. Every pageview is someone learning about a word! That’s a lot of help that Wordnik is giving to students, researchers, writers, journalists, and people who want to learn more about words.
Wordnik does something a bit special. It provides a context for most words by finding actual sentences that people have used them in. That’s extremely helpful.
Who is the target market for this project?
Really there are so many people who love words, and as we wrote in the beginning if you found out one of your favorite words was going to be deleted tomorrow – wouldn’t you want to do something about it.
Not being included is really the same as being deleted, because the word doesn’t exist where people can find, learn about it, and add to the definitions.
If you love words, care about word, or want to see a better world where our language is being recognized for the living, breathing dynamic system that it is….. check out this campaign, support it, and most importantly share it with other people you know that care about words.
We loved having Erin on Maker Paradise. She is very thoughtful, and gave specific and very helpful advice to our listeners. Check out the audio interview here. We look forward to having Erin back on Maker Paradise soon as well.
Days to go: 3