You’ve done it, we’ve done it, everyone does it; a coworker drops a word we don’t know, or we see a word we’ve never run into before, and we surreptitiously pop open a window and Google the word. In fact, we’d bet that Google has probably done more for vocabulary and general word usage than years of spelling tests and English lectures. Now, the world’s unofficial spot spell-check and dictionary is about to get even better.
Essentially, Google has overhauled their word search so that it’s a lot more useful. Now, when you Google a word, you get all of the following:
- A syllabic breakdown.
- A phonetic breakdown.
- The word’s place in language (i.e. noun, verb, vulgar slang.)
- Its usage and definitions broken out by usage.
- Sample sentences.
- A full breakdown of the word’s roots, as far as we’re currently aware of them.
- A chart of the word’s usage over the decades.
And, perhaps most importantly, although it goes unnoted, it looks like the little sound tabs you can click to hear the proper pronunciation have been expanded to all sorts of words. Including the obscene ones. Yes, we looked up all your favorite obscenities; not all of them are in there with a sound clip, but enough of them are that you should be able to have some fun with your coworkers.
Providing free opportunities to prank your coworkers and giving word nerds something to nitpick aside, this does promise to make an already incredibly useful online tool even more so. It’s actually fairly wide-ranging and encompasses a whole host of technical terms, and can even offer, in limited cases, definitions of slang. And if, for some reason, Google has yet to add a word or slang term to its massive online database, well… you’ve already punched “define sandwich ninja” into a search engine, so you can learn about the noble art of stealing free food.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.