Dictionary front matter, yesterday, today, and tomorrow

what was it, what is it, and what will it become?


  • Donna M. T. Cr. Farina New Jersey City University




Dictionary front matter, Dictionary Society of North America (DSNA), Villa Vigoni theses on lexicography, Digital age, Dictionary users


An introduction to the topic of front matter, with remarks addressing three papers that resulted from a lively round table and audience discussion on dictionary front matter that took place at the May 2019 conference of the Dictionary Society of North America, held in Bloomington, Indiana, USA. There, round table participants interacted with a large group of lexicographers in the audience, who expanded upon the participants’ remarks as they discussed dictionary front matter in different languages, from different cultural traditions, and from varying time periods. There is already a recognition among specialists that the online environment, which is often a “front-matter free zone,” has represented a significant loss of the lexicographic information traditionally provided in print dictionaries. It is hoped that the introduction (as well as the three papers included with it) will spur still more conversation in the field of lexicography.


EMLex, European Master in Lexicography. n.d. Villa Vigoni Theses: Dictionaries for the future: The future of dictionaries: Challenges for lexicography in a digital society. Retrieved from https://www.emlex.phil.fau.eu/fles/2019/03/Villa-Vigoni-Theses-2018-English.pdf

Farina, Donna M.T., and Cr., Marjeta Vrbinc, and Alenka Vrbinc. 2019. Problems in online dictionary use for advanced Slovenian learners of English. International Journal of Lexicography 32 (4): 458–479. https://doi.org/10.1093/ijl/ecz017.

Keyes, Ralph. 2004. The post-truth era: Dishonesty and deception in contemporary life. New York: St. Martin’s Press.

Shapiro, Rebecca (ed.). 2017. Fixing babel: An historical anthology of applied lexicography. Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press.



How to Cite

Farina, D. (2020). Dictionary front matter, yesterday, today, and tomorrow: what was it, what is it, and what will it become?. Lexicography, 7(1-2), 97–101. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40607-020-00063-0