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Lexical Leavings

by Tom Gally

There was a discussion on Honyaku today about the shareware program Jamming, which allows one to search multiple dictionary files quickly. But while the software is being improved--an update of Jamming just came yesterday--I wonder what the future holds for commercial dictionaries on CD-ROMs. Portable IC-based dictionaries seem to be selling well in Japan, but I notice fewer new CD-ROM dictionaries appearing these days.

The reason that I have suspected for that trend was confirmed to me recently by a dictionary editor. He told me that his company has become more hesitant about issuing dictionaries on CD-ROM because of the very real risk of widespread file copying. As long as people can copy dictionary files from CD-ROMs onto hard disks and CD-Rs, the future of digitial dictionaries may be not copyable disks but IC dictionaries and fee-based online services.
(March 14, 2003)