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The Robert online: the use of words

Robert Dico online


To the ritual question, “What book would you take to a desert island?” “ how not to answer: ” a dictionary “. This bulky and reassuring object to which to refer in case of doubt remains an inexhaustible mine, the rich grimoire of the language, the companion of a life, ideal for this time of withdrawal.

Le Robert, 170,000 words and as many definitions, precise, detailed, precious, is an institution. For some time, the spirit of its editors, lexicographers and linguists, kindly chaperoned by the venerable Alain Rey, had germinated in the desire to adapt to contemporary customs. “Containment” (read p.26-27) precipitated the movement and “The Robert Dico online” appeared on the web, in free consultation, adorned with multiple innovations, erudite and playful, serious and facetious.

The portal offers a dozen very original modules, regularly renewed, on the uses of French: the word of the day (confinement, telework, cluster…), the words of the bitumen, the words of the time (articles very excavated on the story of a word through the ages), funny expressions, grammatical traps, the underside of words, alphabetical podcasts, a comparison of the meaning of words in La Francophonie, crosswords. A humorist, Karim Duval, adds a pinch of salt with his videos, small hilarious and quirky pastilles.

With access to the Universal Dictionary of Furetière (1690)

Le Robert wanted to open the eyes, to poeticize this funny period, to show how a dictionary integrates the modifications of the uses. Do not stick to the pragmatic use of words but also play with the possible “Explains linguist Aurore Vincenti, one of the linchpins of this operation. Opening “The Robert Dico online” also means accessing dictionaries for synonyms, antonyms, conjugations and even, supreme gift, at Universal Dictionary de Furetière (1690), the great reference, wanted and offered by Alain Rey to show the journey of words through time.

The language is neither frozen nor static, insists Aurore Vincenti. It is constantly redefined. For example, to describe the current situation facing the health crisis, the word confinement came out of its prison and religious register to find another meaning, immediately adapted in everyday language. “

Launched at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic when it hit France, Le Robert Dico en ligne will continue on its way. New sections are in preparation. We enjoy it in advance.


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