I once dreamt of a career in etymology. I find the concept of where words originate and thus their linguistic application is very interesting. This character trait may have been the cause for the in-drawn breath when I read the Hello Words and Phrases Online, Goodbye Words and Phrases in All Formats post on the Law Librarian Blog today.
It’s been decades since I’ve had any real need for the title. I doubt Word and Phrases is needed in either print or digital except as an instructional device to teach online searching…
With full-text searching online Words and Phrases is a relic. In the print-only days, the research tool was an editorial attempt to provide what good pinpoint online searching can now do; it was great and useful product once upon a time.
I respectfully disagree with the Law Librarian Blog on this issue. I find myself referring researchers to judicial definition sources frequently. Westlaw Canada’s Words and Phrases search template, Lexis Nexis Quicklaw’s Canadian Legal Words and Phrases, and Maritime Law Books Judicially Defined Words search template are all frequently used sources in our law firm environment. Gary has great post here at Slaw comparing the services.
Perhaps the usefulness of these sources is best felt by the legal practitioner who is trying to do the best work of gathering the most relevant material in the shortest amount of time. Do you still use words and phrases sources?