Friday, April 14, 2006

Let's take a walkabout

The Webster's Online dictionary defines "walkabout" as a "short period of wandering bush life engaged in by an Australian aborigine as an occasional interruption of regular work."

While we're not in Australia, or even outside, I'd like to take this time to introduce the walkabout analogy to the newest
Murphy Library online resource, BlogAbout.

Join me for a short stroll of discovery focusing on online and print resources that will help you with course development, assignments, and research.

One of my biggest failings, yes, I do have some, comes with pronunciation. I make many an error focusing on the phonetics of a word. One of my more memorable experiences involved the word Iditarod. Yes, the Alaskan dog race. In the library, I've encountered students who don't have the phonetics training or the reading experience to take on such tasks.

My officemate recently brought my attention to the Merriam Webster's Online Dictionary. Not only do you have a complete online dictionary, this source also featues a pronunciation icon; one click and you can actually hear the correct pronunciation of a word. Look for this icon: No speakers required.

Another great tool for definitions is searching Google. In
Google search window, type in the word "define" followed by ":" and "the word you want a definition for". Here's an example: define:iditarod

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