Antidote 11 User Guide

User Guide / The Dictionaries / Presentation

The Dictionaries

Lexicography is not what it used to be. In place of the valiant scribe of former times who spent twenty years over a thousand works patiently documenting the riches of the language, word by word, sense by sense, usage by usage, we now have computer-assisted lexicographers, equipped with their infallible software tools, their indefatigable computers and their infinite memories. With the power of computers and the boundless reach of their networks, lexicographers today have no trouble searching through billions of words. They can calculate frequencies and establish distributions and co-occurrences. They no longer have to hunt for a few attested occurrences; they now sort through masses of them!

At Druide, our interdisciplinary team of lexicographers and computer scientists has benefited enormously from these modern resources, allowing us to scour the Internet and countless digital documents, without neglecting traditional sources, in order to create Antidote’s dictionaries. The result is an impressive nomenclature, which paints a broad portrait of the English language today and which form the basis of the dictionaries in Antidote.

In fact, Antidote comprises multiple dictionaries, all of whose entries are displayed within a unified interface. Whether it be for definitions or synonyms, combinations or semantic fields, families or rhymes, Antidote’s dictionaries offer a lexical reference work of unparalleled richness, variety and consistency.

Because they are so easy to consult, these dictionaries will entice you to discover the boundless treasures of English. Click on any word in any field of any dictionary, and you will be logically led to additional information. You will find yourself flitting from one word to another and from one dictionary to the next, simply by clicking on whatever piques your curiosity. With Antidote, you can effortlessly meander through the fascinating skein of links between words, going from senator to senile, from shirt to skirt, and from skates to stilts.

The computer’s agility makes it so much easier to explore the language. Enter two words and Antidote’s multi-word search will list all the associations between them, including the expressions in which they appear, their combinations and their synonyms. Use the wildcard characters to find the words that will help you complete your crossword puzzle. Combine criteria in any way you like to generate the most diverse lists, including register, subject fields and source languages, producing results that are often surprising.

Finally, because the computer has become the crucible for our texts, the integration of Antidote’s dictionaries within the programs we use to write is of critical importance. Thanks to this integration, the dictionaries can be invoked effortlessly wherever and whenever the need arises. All these important features of Antidote’s dictionaries—their richness and consistency, powerful search and ease of consultation—open up vast new possibilities for everyone who writes.