A New Way to Get Answers

My job requires me to write a lot. And to read a lot, as well. So it’s nice to
have a dictionary handy. I used to use dictionary.com until
I learned from
kottke.org
that
Google switched from using dictionary.com to using answers.com.
To see what I mean, do a search for something like kittens
on Google
, and look up in the right-hand corner. That "definition" link now
points to answers.com rather than dictionary.com. Anyway, I figured if it was good
enough for Google, it must be good enough for me, so I gave it a try, and I like
it much better. The interface is far superior and you get much more information
from several more sources, including Wikipedia,
another favorite resource of mine. And you can hear a pronunciation without subscribing
to Dictionary.com Premium for
$19.95 per year.

The best thing, though, are the additional
tools
answers.com makes available.
Of course you get your standard Firefox search plug-in, but I also downloaded their
1-Click Answers application which basically puts a miniature version of their site
on your desktop. Whenever I need to look up a word or double check spelling, I
can now highlight it, and hit alt+command g (on a Mac) to have 1-Click Answers
jump to the foreground and give me the information I’m looking for. Assuming
it’s not
spyware
,
it’s a great little application to keep running. There’s also an RSS
feed
for daily
highlights, and Answer boxes that
you can put on your site.

3 Responses to A New Way to Get Answers

  1. Abel Rios says:

    Oooh. I’ve been looking for a nice little desktop app for this. I guess I’ve never really looked hard enough. Thanks!

  2. Kevin Hoyt says:

    Wow! Even an American Sign Language Entry (ASL) if you scroll down far enough. BTW, “kitten” in ASL combines the sign for “baby” and “cat” (smile).

  3. John Dowdell says:

    Interesting… I usually use the “define:” operator at Google, and I see neither dictionary.com nor answers.com among the hits they return this way. (See define:kitten.) Maybe it’s one workgroup at Google not knowing what another one is doing…?And speaking of Firefox search plugins, it’s great that the search at MXNA returns archived as well as current weblog mentions… lets us find any mention, ever, in any of those 383 weblogs aggregated there. But I’m guessing we’re archiving those 50-word RSS abstracts rather than the full text of each entry… am I on-base here? If so, do you know of a way to search full-text on this set of 400 technology-oriented writers…?tx,jd