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

Stephen Hodge s.hodge at PADMACHOLING.PLUS.COM
Fri Jun 5 13:34:13 UTC 2009

Dear Dipak,

Apart from Andrew's comments about fuzzy searches, there are other 
considerations that make a electronic version very useful for some people.

For example, BHSD contains tens of thousands of textual citations, each of 
which will naturally contain other lexical items apart from the headword for 
which that citation is given.  There is no other realistic way to access all 
this data apart from an electronic search to find all occurances of any 
particular item.  There are many other things that can be done with a 
searchable format that cannot be done with a printed edition.

Speaking from personal experience, there are other reasons concerning the 
physical properties of such large disctionaries which are not always 
obvious.  Fit, healthy or young people sometimes forget that they too are 
going to get old and perhaps unwell one day ~ it comes as quite a surprise. 
So, for example, the text in my one volume edition of BHSD is fairly minute 
and the type is not of the highest contrast and definition.   This can 
easily be adjusted on-screen for people with visual problems such as myself. 
Not so important, but still significant is the physical manipulation of the 
tome itself.  I have a half a dozen or so large and heavy dictionaries which 
I cannot keep on my desk top for lack of space.  Typically, I may use these 
works for anything up to a hundred times a day.  This involves hoisting them 
up from their storage space to one side of my desk which causes me a degree 
of physical discomfort each time due to health /post-surgical problems.  And 
rather amusingly, I actually have calluses on my lefthand knuckles from 
bearing the weight of these book as I support them for use.

I imagine that I am not the only person with some problems of this nature 
who has come to greatly value the easy access of electronic versions of 

Best wishes,
Stephen Hodge 

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