October 16 is known as Dictionary Day, a day meant to honor Noah Webster, the creator of the modern dictionary. While traditional dictionaries are still prevalent in some circles, online resources have changed how many people use dictionaries. They’ve even opened the door for some online platforms to make updates regularly. So how often do people use regular dictionaries compared to online ones? And what do they think of dictionaries making regular updates?
In Ask Your Target Market’s latest survey, 29% of respondents said they currently own multiple dictionaries. Another 45% own one. And 26% don’t own an actual paper dictionary at all.
Of those who own at least one dictionary, 6% said they use them to look up words pretty much every day. 13% use them at least once per week. Another 13% use them at least once per month. 17% use dictionaries a few times per year. 27% said they rarely ever use real dictionaries to look up definitions. 19% said they used to use their real dictionaries, but never do anymore. And 5% haven’t ever used them to look up definitions at all.
There are, however, plenty of online resources for people who would rather look up word definitions that way. 15% of overall respondents said they use online dictionaries to look up definitions of words every day. 17% do so at least once a week. 19% do at least once per month. 17% look up words online a few times per year. 4% said they have in the past but don’t anymore. And 7% said they’ve never used an online dictionary.
Keeping online dictionaries makes it a bit easier for companies to update their lexicons regularly. Big names like Oxford even make it a habit of adding new popular words and phrases to their dictionaries at least once per year. Overall, 63% of respondents think it’s a good idea for dictionaries to add new words regularly. And looking forward, respondents suggested words and phrases like selfie, hashtag, bae and “on fleek” for inclusion in the next round of updates.
You can view the complete survey results in the widget below and be sure to click “Open Full Report” to take advantage of all the chart and filter options.
What do you want to know? If you need some consumer insights on a particular topic, let us know in the comments below and we’ll consider it for an upcoming survey post.
Results were collected on October 15 via AYTM’s online survey panel.