Saturday, April 18, 2009

What's wrong with

While reading the enjoyable Agile Web Development book, I came across the word perversion. Of course, I started looking for its meaning on, by using the search engine addon on Firefox.

The first thing I realize is the clutter they have added to the site. Wow. If the caret browsing is on, you just can't use the site. I almost decide that I should now devise a new model for displaying paid advertisements and actual content better. Anyway, I will bite the bullet and turn the caret browsing off. I press on to understand meaning of this word: Perversion

Here is what I find:

  1. the act of perverting.
  2. the state of being perverted.
  3. ....
OK, so I need to look into what pervert means. Sadly, there is no double clicking on the word to look a word up. So, I either choose it from the related word list or look "pervert" up explicitly. And this is what I get:

  1. to affect with perversion.
  2. to lead astray morally.
  3. ...

Put literally, the first bullet point on pervert means -- to affect with "the act of perverting". Does that even make any sense?

Again, there is no criticism of this web-site (which I use heavily) meant here and I have no relationship with their business. I have no business affecting their traffic. It's a subtle usability observation about the web-site and probably structure of English Dictionaries in general. Why can't the first given meaning be the one a dictionary user would look for? I mean if Google weren't to put the most relevant search result at the top, how good would they be?

1 comment:

Vineet Dwivedi said...

You can check Lexiology Dictionary. This is much cleaner, faster and provides much more information than Dictionary. com