Wiktionary, via Sean Palmer on IRC

[...]Wiktionary, a collaborative project to produce a free multilingual dictionary in every language, with definitions, etymologies, pronunciations and quotations. Wiktionary is the lexical companion to the open-content encyclopedia Wikipedia (http://www.wikipedia.org). In the English edition, started on December 12, 2002, we are now working on 68055 entries."

Around the time this reference came up, we were discussing the various senses of the word "shibboleth", and on a lark, I checked the Wiktionary. It nails it nicely:


  1. A word which was made the criterion by which to distinguish the Ephraimites from the Gileadites. The Ephraimites, not being able to pronounce sh, called the word sibboleth. See Judges xii.
  2. Also in an extended sense: the criterion, test, watchword, or password of a party used to distinguish membership.
  3. A slogan, jargon word, or catchphrase closely associated with a particular group and not used very much, or at all, outside of it. Can also apply to ideas, customs, and uses of language.
  4. A common belief or usage that is questionable or incorrect; truism, platitude.

It's really wonderful to discover gems from the amazing world of on-line collaboration. Wiktionary doesn't yet have as much mind share as Wikipedia, but I suspect it shall as time goes on, and this will make it better in some ways, and worse in others.

I do hope it evolves some means of exporting/querying though XML or RDF, similar to WordNet. See:

[Uche Ogbuji]

via Copia