The new Treccani Dictionary of Italian comes out: it doesn’t speak ‘vocabolariese’ and (almost) doesn’t have ‘abbr.’

The launch at the end of 2022

It does not adopt the “vocabolariese” or the “abbr”. In fact “it is new for the language it adopts – they proudly explain from the most famous Italian Encyclopedia Institute in Italy, speaking of the debut of the Vocabulary -, an ambitious and innovative project. Right on the last margin of the year 2022, the Treccani has decided to release its prestigious dictionary. The ‘vocabolarian dialect’, they ironically underline, is “that sort of initiatory language which leads to the definition of a simple screw as a ‘mechanical connecting organ, made up of a cylindrical or conical stem, on which a helical groove is engraved whose prominence (called fillet or worm) engages between the prominences of a similar groove (pre-existing or generated by its own rotation)”.

But the surprises don’t end there. “We have reduced both abbreviations and use marks to a minimum. Likewise, we have limited to a minimum the reporting of uses traditionally qualified with the marks fig. (= figurative) or extens. (= extensive)”. The reader who consults the prodigy entry will simply read that the word can indicate not only a ‘fact, phenomenon, event that seems to go beyond the limits of nature’ but also a ‘person or thing that demonstrates extraordinary qualities’, without the need to specify that, of course, the first is a literal meaning while the second is a figurative meaning”.

Furthermore, any “form of lexicographic short-circuit has also been eliminated, avoiding forcing readers to bounce from one item to another, in a chain of cross-references, which create endless spirals”: in the Nuovissimo Treccani the explanations of a word are always self-sufficient, and the reader is not forced or compelled, in order to understand them, to look for the meaning of another word present in the explanation itself”.

Rigorous definitions, therefore, as always, “but simple and understandable, of all words”. But absolutely all of them, in short including those in the technical-scientific field, for the definition of which “we are committed to respecting the primary right of the reader, which is that of immediate understanding of the meanings”.

In fact, the younger readers, those of the upper secondary school and those of the university three-year period were privileged: of the many technical-scientific terms collected in this dictionary, particular space and attention were given to those recurring in the school and university textbooks of architecture, art, biology, chemistry, law, economics, citizenship education, physics, geography, information technology, engineering, mathematics, medicine, music, pedagogy, psychology and history.

Great space then to grammar. And there really is a need. On the one hand, “we have rewritten all the grammatical entries, remembering that the norm is not established once and for all, and is continually called into question by usage; on the other hand, we have closed many entries with as many usage notes highlighted in pink in the which are resolved the most common grammatical doubts, linked to a given word. Thus, for example, whoever consults the entries “milk, psychologist or neighbor” and wonders if you can say milks in the plural, if the word psychologist requires the article il or the article lo, finally whether it is better to say or write near home or near home will find an answer for each of these doubts”. Which is not at all usual today.