Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary?

I thought that developing a Skill for Alexa was going well, and it is. Everything is all set to get it submitted for approval. However, considering the Skill I’m developing is asking and finding out about terms and issues on lawns and turf surfaces, it has started to become a task of labyrinthine proportions. Where one word seems to finish, another one pops up as needing a suitable user friendly definition and description.

An article in the Guardian this week looked at dictionaries and included mention of Samuel Johnson’s classic Dictionary , published in 1755, with some 40,000 terms – not that mine is anywhere near that, nor is it intending to be.

Fraise mowing; Linear mowing; Shockwave etc. are all terms which are insufficiently defined and described within the turf care industry and currently you will find different people have a different understanding of what they mean. Considering they can have significant impacts on a turf surface is carried incorrectly then this is clearly not an acceptable state of affairs.

Anyhow, I’ve been thinking of a range of words, and dipping into many of my turf books in my own library to review words and the context in which they have been used and defined. I have given my own definition and description on each of these to build a vocabulary which can be clearly understood by the novice and home owner, but which will also be useful to a professional employed within the turf care industry.

I’m sure there will be disagreement and debate for a number of the terms, but on the whole I think my expert (and I don’t use the word lightly or presumptuously) interpretation will stand detailed scrutiny. So, whilst the aim is to have this content available as an Alexa Skill, the opportunity now arises that it can also be made available as an open access resource.

In summary, progress to date is good, but with a distraction of significant proportions to develop a comprehensive dictionary / glossary of terms.

Whilst Samuel Johnson Dictionary is available on line, I can’t resit the feel and comfort of a hand held text document, so I’ll be searching out a reasonably priced (I hope) second hand hard back copy.

Words, words, words ….

Chris Gray, 24th February 2018