First Internet Dictionary?

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Sun Sep 9 17:34:45 UTC 2001


To the Editor:

   Oxford University Press is publishing _an_ internet dictionary.  It is not _the first_ internet dictionary.  Not by any means!
   See:  "E-nough: Jonathan Margolis is stunned by the first dictionary of the internet," _Financial Times How to Spend It_, September 8-9, 2001, pg. 67, col. 3.  It contains the statement: "This arguably oblique thought occurs as I thumb through the first internet dictionary, just published by Oxford University Press."
   Two disclaimers:  I have not read the book, which comes out around October 1st in U. S. bookstores.  Also, I'm an unpaid consultant to the Oxford English Dictionary, which is published by Oxford University Press.
   The granddad of all "internet dictionaries" is considered to be Eric S. Raymond's _The Hacker's Dictionary_, now _The New Hacker's Dictionary_ and online as the Jargon File.  Jargon File contains the words "Gozillagram" and "angry fruit salad" that the article mentions.
   There are many other wonderful Internet dictionary-type sites on, well, the internet.  Among them are Gareth Branywyn's JargonWatch for _Wired_ magazine, Paul McFedries' Word Spy and Tech Word Spy,, the Ultimate Silicon Valley Slang Page, Buzzsaw, and Buzzwhack.
   A quick check of an online bookseller shows at least these titles:

   Dictionary of Computers and Internet Terms, 7th edition, by Michael A. Covington, et al.
   Random House Webster's Compueter and Internet Dictionary, 3rd edition.
   Webster's New World Dictionary of Computer Terms, 8th edition, by Bryan Pfaffenberger.
   Dictionary of Computer and Internet Words: An A to Z Guide to Hardware, Software and Cyberspace, by American Heritage Dictionaries.
   Computer and Internet Dictionary for Ages 9 to 99, by Charles W. Berry, et al.
   The Online/E-mail Dictionary, by Hayden Mead.
   Beginner's Illustrated Internet Dictionary, by Betty Shulman.
   Quick Reference Guide Computer and Internet Dictionary, by Lisa A. Bucki.
   Official Internet Dictionary: A Comprehensive Reference for Professionals, by Russ Bahorsky.
   Cyberspeak: An Oline Dictionary, by Andy Ihnatko.
   PC's for Dummies: Illustrated Computer Dictionary for Dummies, by Dan Gookin.
   Dictionary of the World Wide Web, by Cynthia B. Leshin.
   Dictionary of Personal Computing and the Internet, by Simon Collin.
   Newton's Telecom Dictionary: The Official Dictionary of Telecommunication Networking and Internet, by Harry Newton.
   The Hutchinston Dictionary of COmputing Multimedia and the Internet.
   Dictionary of Computer and Internet Terms, by Douglas Downing, et al.
   There are also books in other languages that are "internet dictionaries."
   If you exclude every single one of these books and online web sites, then Oxford's is the first internet dictionary, as the article says.

Barry Popik
225 East 57th Street, Apt. 7P
New York, NY 10022
(212) 308-2635
Bapopik at

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