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+The README file
+ To accompany the GNU version of the set of files (CIDE.*) containing
+ the electronic version of the
+ Collaborative International Dictionary of English.
+ (called also GCIDE)
+ These files contain Version 0.51 (January 2012)
+ * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
+This document describes the GNU version of the Collaborative
+International Dictionary of English. It is organized into a series of
+chapters, introduced by headings beginning with a single asterisk. A
+chapter may have sections, which are marked with two asterisks. For
+those readers who use Emacs, this structure corresponds to its
+"Outline mode", which will be enabled automatically upon loading this
+The chapter "INTRODUCTION" describes the structure of this package.
+The chapter "STRUCTURE OF THE DICTIONARY" describes the dictionary
+structure in general. An overview of the markup tags is provided in
+the chapter "TAGS". A detailed information about dictionary markup
+can be obtained from a set of ancillary files included in this
+package, which are described in the chapter "ANCILLARY FILES".
+The chapter "DICTIONARY LOOKUP" describes how to use GNU Dico for
+reading this dictionary. Finally, other versions of the Webster
+dictionary are listed in the chapter "OTHER VERSIONS OF THE
+The dictionary was derived from the
+ Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
+ Version published 1913
+ by the C. & G. Merriam Co.
+ Springfield, Mass.
+ Under the direction of
+ Noah Porter, D.D., LL.D.
+and has been supplemented with some of the definitions from
+ WordNet, a semantic network created by
+ the Cognitive Science Department
+ of Princeton University
+ under the direction of
+ Prof. George Miller
+and is being proof-read and supplemented by volunteers from around the
+world. This is an unfunded project, and future enhancement of this
+dictionary will depend on the efforts of volunteers willing to help
+build this free resource into a comprehensive body of general
+information. New definitions for missing words or words senses and
+longer explanatory notes, as well as images to accompany the articles
+are needed. More modern illustrative quotations giving recent
+examples of usage of the words in their various senses will be very
+helpful, since most quotations in the original 1913 dictionary are now
+well over 100 years old.
+This electronic version is being maintained by World Soul, a
+non-profit organization in Plainfield, NJ. For additional information
+or if you are willing to assist construction of this data source, contact:
+ Patrick J. Cassidy | TEL: (908) 561-3416
+ World Soul | if no answer, (908) 668-5252
+ 735 Belvidere Ave. | FAX: (908) 668-5904
+ Plainfield, NJ 07062-2054
+ or
+GCIDE is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
+it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
+the Free Software Foundation; either version 2, or (at your option)
+any later version.
+GCIDE is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
+but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
+GNU General Public License for more details.
+You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
+along with this copy of GCIDE; see the file COPYING. If not, write
+to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place - Suite 330,
+Boston, MA 02111-1307, USA.
+When the archive is unpacked, the main dictionary text of the GCIDE
+will be found in 26 files named "CIDE.*", where the asterisk indicates
+which letter of the alphabet begins the words in each file. For
+example, file "CIDE.B" contains words beginning with the letter "B".
+Additional information about the tagging conventions and special
+character symbols are contained in ancillary files in this directory
+(see below the section entitled "ANCILLARY FILES"). The main body of
+the 1913 dictionary was essentially identical to the edition published
+in 1890, and was republished in 1913 with an appendix containing "New
+Words". The new words of that appendix have been integrated into the
+main file in this version. However, it is important to keep in mind
+that the definitions in this dictionary are in most cases over 100
+years old. Use them with caution!
+At the bottom of each paragraph in this dictionary, there is a
+bracketed and tagged "source" indicated. This tells from where the
+definition or other text in that paragraph came, as follows:
+[<source>1913 Webster</source>]
+ = From the original 1890 dictionary.
+[<source>Webster 1913 Suppl.</source>]
+ = From the 1913 "New Words" supplement to the Webster.
+[<source>WordNet 1.5</source>]
+ = From the WordNet on-line semantic network.
+[<source>Century Dict. 1906.</source>]
+ = From the Century Dictionary published in 1906, especially from
+ the "proper Names" supplement (volume IX).
+ published
+ = Added by one of the volunteers.
+The original definitions have been tagged and in some cases
+reformatted or slightly rearranged. If substantive information is
+added from a second source, usually the additional source is also
+noted, as in:
+[<source>Webster 1913 Suppl.</source> + <source>WordNet 1.5</source>]
+This version is tagged with SGML-like tags of the form <pos>...</pos>
+so that the original typography (italics, bold, block quotes) can be
+reproduced. A list of the most important tags for fields in the
+dictionary is given below. The tags also serve the more important
+function of allowing the information content to be conveniently
+imported into computer programs or databases. The set of tags used is
+described in the accompanying file "tagset.txt". ***NOTE*** the
+paragraph tags <p>...</p> do *not* always nest properly with certain
+other tags, such as <note> and <cs> ("collocation section"), which in
+some cases span multiple paragraphs. If you are using a tag parser
+which detects improper nesting, you should first either delete the
+paragraph tags or convert them to non-tag symbols, or, if possible,
+set the parser to ignore the <p>...</p> tags.
+The unusual characters (such as Greek or the European accented
+characters, as well as special characters used in the pronunciations)
+are described in the accompanying file "webfont.txt". Some
+information on the pronunciation system used may be found by viewing
+the file "pronunc.jpg", and additional explanations of pronunciation
+are in the file "pronunc.txt".
+Each paragraph of the original text is enclosed within tags of the
+form <p> . . . </p>. Within these paragraphs there are no line
+breaks, and some of the paragraphs are over 12,000 characters long,
+which may prove too long to be handled by some editors. At some
+points, embedded line breaks within a "paragraph" are marked by a <br/
+"entity". The file can therefore be converted, if necessary, to a
+form with shorter lines, and subsequently reconverted back to the form
+having one line per paragraph.
+If additional line breaks are added, then in order to remove the line
+breaks and reconstruct the original paragraphs, so that the page width
+can be adjusted, perform the following manipulations:
+ (1) convert each line break to a space.
+ (2) convert the string "</p> " (</p> followed by two spaces)
+ to </p> followed by two line breaks.
+ (3) convert the string "<br/ " (<br/ followed by one space)
+ to <br/ followed by one line break.
+A more sophisticated formatting of spaces within paragraphs may
+require the use of the fully-tagged master files. If you have a need
+for these files, contact Patrick Cassidy:
+The approximate beginning of each page is marked by an SGML comment of
+the form <-- p. 345 -->. (The exact beginning was in some cases in
+the middle of a paragraph, which we decided was not a good location
+for these page-number comments, so the page number was usually moved
+to the next paragraph break). Pages which have been proofread by
+volunteers (e.g., with initials VOL) will have a note within that page
+comment: <-- p. 345 pr=VOL -->. Pages which have not been proofread
+yet (most of them) will have varying numbers of typographical errors
+in them. We still (January 2012) need proofreaders to get the errors
+out of these dictionary files.
+** Warning
+This version is only a first typing, and has numerous typographic
+errors, including errors in the field-marks. In addition, the user
+must keep in mind that this text is very old and will contain numerous
+obsolete, inaccurate, and perhaps offensive statements, which are
+included solely because this work is intended to reproduce accurately
+this historically interesting classic reference work. This text should
+not be relied upon as an accurate source of information, as in many
+cases it represents the state of knowledge around 1890. The text is
+provided "as is", and the user must accept responsibility for all
+consequences of its use. Please refer to the header of each file and
+the GNU public license. If these conditions of use are unacceptable,
+please do not use these texts.
+This electronic dictionary is also made available as a potential
+starting point for development of a modern comprehensive encyclopedic
+dictionary, to be accessible freely on the internet, and developed by
+the efforts of all individuals willing to help build a large and
+freely available knowledge base. A large number of collaborators are
+needed to bring this dictionary to a more accurate, more modern, and
+more useful state. Anyone willing to assist in any way in constructing
+such a knowledge base should contact Patrick Cassidy (see above). All
+reports of errors will be gratefully received, and should also be
+transmitted to PC at:
+Most important tags used in the GCIDE:
+<hw> tags the headword
+<pr> pronunciation
+<pos> part of speech
+<ety> etymology
+<ets> "source" word within an <ety> field, usually foreign words
+<fld> field of knowledge (e.g. Med. = medicine)
+<def> definition
+<cs> collocation section (containing word combinations)
+<col> collocation entry (word combination)
+<cd> collocation definition
+<as> illustrations of usage (within a <def>. . . </def> field)
+<au> authority for a definition, or author of a quotation
+<q> illustrative quotation -- in block quote format
+<au> author of an illustrative <q> quotation
+<altname> alternative name for the headword -- essentially a synonym
+<asp> alternative spelling of the headword
+<syn> list of synonyms for the headword
+<p> paragraph
+<b> bold type
+<it> italic type
+For other tags, see the file "tagset.txt"
+In addition to the main text of the dictionary, additional explanatory
+material about this version of the dictionary is available in the
+ancillary files:
+The license terms for distributing and modifying this dictionary.
+** abbrevn.lst
+List of the abbreviations used in the dictionary.
+** authors.lst
+List of authors whose works are quoted in the dictionary.
+** pronunc.txt
+Description of the special markup used in this dictionary to represent
+** pronunc.jpg
+A copy of the dictionary page describing the pronunciation symbols used
+in the original work.
+** symbols.jpg
+This file lists original pronunciation symbols with the corresponding
+markup entities used in this version.
+** tagset.txt
+Description of the markup tags.
+** titlepage.png
+A copy of the original title page.
+** webfont.txt
+Description of the special escape sequences used in this dictionary.
+This file also explains the Greek transliteration syntax used in it.
+The GNU Dico project contains a module for reading GCIDE files. This
+distribution provides a configuration file "gcide.conf" which you can
+use with the "dicod" server in order to look up words in the
+dictionary. See for a description
+of GNU Dico, including links to download.
+The instructions below describe how to configure GNU Dico server
+(dicod) to access a copy of the GCIDE dictionary.
+1. Unpack the GCIDE dictionary;
+2. Copy the file "gcide.conf" to a directory where you keep your local
+configuration files (/etc or /usr/local/etc are usual choices).
+3. Replace the word GCIDE_PATH in the "gcide.conf" statement with the
+path to the gcide-0.51 dicrectory. You can omit this step and use the
+-D option instead:
+4. Check the configuration file. Run:
+ dicod --config /path/to/gcide.conf --lint
+If you skipped the step 3, supply the -D option with the acual path to
+the dictionary. For example, if you copied "gcide.conf" to /etc and
+unpacked GCIDE to /usr/local, then run:
+ dicod --config /etc/gcide.conf -D GCIDE_PATH=/usr/local --lint
+If no errors are reported, then go to the step 5.
+5. Start "dicod". Run the same command as described in step 4, but
+without the "--lint" option. This will start the dictionary server
+which will be avaialble on localhost ( port 2628. The
+server provides extensive searching facilities. It also parses the
+GCIDE markup and automatically reformats the articles before returning
+Now you can access the dictionary using dico (a GNU dictionary command
+line utility), or another dictionary client program (such as Kdict or
+the like).
+There are several other derivative versions of this dictionary on the
+internet, in some cases reformatted or provided with an interface.
+Those that I am aware of are:
+** Dicoweb
+This version of GCIDE is available online at the GNU Dico web
+The site provides extensive search facilities.
+** Project Gutenberg
+In the extext96 directory of Project Gutenberg
+(, there is a version of the
+original 1913 dictionary, which is in the **public domain**. The main
+files are labeled pgw050*.*. The tags for that version are a subset
+of those used in this GNU version.
+** The DICT development group
+This group has created a program to index and search this dictionary.
+The program can be downloaded and used locally, but at present is
+available only in a Unix-compatible executable version. See their web
+site at
+** The University of Chicago ARTFL project
+Mark Olsen and Gavin LaRowe at the University of Chicago have
+converted the original 1913 dictionary to HTML and have provided an
+interface allowing search of the headwords. When the supplemented
+version has developed sufficiently to warrant the effort, a similar
+searchable version may be posted there as well. The search page is at:
+That page will provide links to other ARTFL projects and contact
+information for the ARTFL group, who alone can provide information
+about the HTML version or interface.
+Local Variables:
+mode: outline
+paragraph-separate: "[ ]*$"
+version-control: never

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