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Appiphilia: The word on the street with iPhone dictionary app

June 22, 2009 |  2:33 pm

Free app puts a dictionary, thesaurus and pronunciations at your fingertips. Credit: Los Angeles Times

The other day, an acquaintance of mine just throws “fin de siecle” into a regular conversation, like we’re at some Camembert protest in Normandy or something. Seriously, dude, you just got a word-of-the-day calendar?

Then a week later I’m reading a blog – not one of the fun ones, that’s for sure -- and there it is again: fin de siecle.

God, this is all so 2000. But at least I have an iPhone, and on my iPhone is the app.

Mzl.yyiriqxd (Free)

What it is: Um, a dictionary? Yeah, but this one pronounces stuff for you, just like the website.

To look up a word or phrase, type as much of it as you know, and it gives you some possibilities. There’s also a thesaurus and – ick – word of the day. And it saves your recent look-ups, in case you need to whip out the iPhone for an “I told you so” moment.

Oh, and despite the fin stuff, it is an English dictionary, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary.

What sizzles: Sizzle might be a little strong. It is a dictionary after all. But I love that it talks. Definitions are easy, but hearing the word is cool.

What fizzles: People who use fin de siecle when talking to me.

Bottom line: Was able to prove to fin-de-siecle dude that he was mispronouncing the Aix in Aix-en-Provence. Win.

What's your favorite dictionary app? Share it in the comments below.

-- Robert Burns

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