here, here (was: Re: What Devanagari text would you most like as an e-text_

Andrew Glass xadxura at GMAIL.COM
Fri Jun 5 03:37:38 UTC 2009

Dear Dipak,

Electronic dictionaries provide far more options in terms of search
capability than do printed volumes. A couple of examples:

It is possible to search an electronic version of MW or BHSD for entries
ending in either uttara or ottara with a single search, "*(u|o)ttara". Such
a search of the printed work would require leafing through the whole volume.
For those of us working on damaged manuscripts such a facility is extremely

When working with Gandhari it is helpful to be able to search for OIA
equivalents of particular clusters to see what the reflexes are in known
Gandhari cognates. Searching for *(a|ā|i|ī|u|ū|r̥|e|o)hy* gives the results
of the cluster hy after a vowel. Turner's CDIAL required a separate volume
of Phonetic correspondences to provide this kind of inquiry.

Then there is the matter of saving time. If the electronic dictionaries are
coordinated, one could search MW and BHSD at the same time. Since Edgerton's
dictionary was intended to be complement to MW words may be found in one
place or the other or both (or neither). Instant access may not appeal to
everyone but there are times when it is very convenient.

To be sure, it is not about the price of the dictionaries, Edgerton's work
has long been affordable, it is all about accessing this and other works in
new ways.

Best wishes,


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