Dictionarysmith (1991-present) Freelance lexicographic projects for clients such as dictionary publishers, encyclopedia publishers, telephone companies, directories, and natural language projects. (Formerly called Reference Wordsmith.)

Wolfram|Alpha (IL) Lexicographer (2009-2010) Lexicographic analysis and special projects involving word data. (CA)  Chief Lexicographer (2000-2009)  Creation of original content including all of the thesaurus data, new words lexicon, reverse dictionary, crossword solver, style guide, today in history, word origins, and word FAQs. Helped guide choice of public domain and licensed content.

Ask Jeeves (CA) Research and Dictionary Specialist (1999-2000). Developmental work on dictionaries; personal answering of general reference questions via email and online community. (CA) Director of Research (1996, 1998-99). Development of Internet question-answering service; answered all questions posed to system.

Mindmaker/Associative Computing (CA) Head Lexicographer (1997-98). Research and development of lexicon (based on WordNet) for natural language processing and intelligent agent system.

TextWise (NY) Lexicographic Analyst (1995-96). Lexicographic and classification/hierarchy work for information retrieval system; conducted dictionary research.

idealab/Knowledge Adventure (CA) Author/Developer (1993-95). Writing, editing, development of multimedia reference works for software products, including all articles for a children’s encyclopedia. Also did projects for CitySearch, GoTo/Overture, Perfect Market, Smart Games.

General Electric Corporate Research (NY)  Lexicographer, Artificial Intelligence Program (1988-90, 1996-97).  Wrote large, hierarchically arranged lexicon for use with a natural-language processor.

Bellcore/Telcordia (NJ)  Lexicographer, Artificial Intelligence & Information Science Research (1985-88).  Research of dictionaries and other reference works for development of a lexical knowledge base.

IBM T.J. Watson Research Center (NY)  Lexicographer, Lexical Systems Group (1984-85). Research of dictionaries for inclusion in lexical knowledge base.

Wang Electronic Publishing (NY) Lexicographer, 1983-84.

Yale University School of Organization and Management (CT) Newsletter Editor, 1982-83.

Laurence Urdang Inc. (CT)  Assistant to the Publisher  (dictionary work); 1982.

University of Houston (TX) Director of Word Processing Center; 1981-82.

City of Valparaiso (IN) Assistant to the Mayor; 1979-81.

Chicago Tribune newspaper (IL) Sports Scoreboard Page Editor; 1979.

Vidette-Messenger newspaper (IN) Sports Editor; 1976-79.


Bachelor of Science in Physical Education, Valparaiso University, 1978

Master of Philosophy in Linguistics, University of Exeter, 1985

Doctor of Philosophy in Linguistics, University of Exeter, 1989

Doctor of Philosophy in Archaeology, Greenwich University, 1998

Master of Arts in Buddhist Studies, Greenwich University, 2002

Doctor of Philosophy in Buddhist Studies, Akamai University, 2008



Roget’s International Thesaurus, New York: HarperCollins; 6th Ed., 2001; 7th Ed., 2010

3,650 Things to be Happy About 2010, 2011 Diecut Calendar, New York: Workman, 2009, 2010

865 Buddhist Ways to Conquer Life’s Little Challenges, Berkeley, CA: Ulysses Press, 2009

Field Guide to Happiness for Women, Guilford, CT: Lyons Press, 2009

The Order of Things, New York: Workman, 2008

Life Needs a Menu, Amazon Kindle, 2008

The Buddha’s Lists, Amazon Kindle, 2008

Time Capsule, Amazon Kindle, 2008

Phraseology, Chicago: Sourcebooks, 2008

Dictionary of American Slang, New York: HarperCollins; 3d Ed., 1998; 4th Ed., 2007

Field Guide to Happiness, Guilford, CT: Lyons Press, 2007

Word Nerd, Chicago: Sourcebooks, 2007

Dictionary of Artifacts, Boston: Wiley-Blackwell, 2007

Consider This, New York: Random House, 2007

1325 Buddhist Ways to Be Happy, Berkeley, CA: Ulysses Press, 2007

The Archaeologist’s Fieldwork Companion, Boston: Wiley-Blackwell, 2006

Trivia Lovers’ Book of Lists, New York: Random House, 2006

Self-Meditation, New York: Workman Publishing, 2006

Life of Language, New York: Random House, 2006

201 Little Buddhist Reminders: Gathas for Your Daily Life, Berkeley, CA: Ulysses Press, 2006

How It Happens : the extraordinary processes of everyday things, New York: Random House, 2005

Roget’s 21st Century Thesaurus in Dictionary Form, New York: Dell; 1992, 1999, 2005

4,000 Questions to Ask Anyone and Everyone, New York: Random House, 2004

Instant Karma, New York: Workman, 2003

Roget’s Descriptive Word Finder, Cincinnati: Writer’s Digest, 2003

Roget’s Thesaurus of Phrases, Cincinnati: Writer’s Digest, 2001

8,789 Words of Wisdom, New York: Workman Publishing, 2001

Flip Dictionary, Cincinnati: Writer’s Digest, 2000

Encyclopedic Dictionary of Archaeology, New York: Springer, 2000

5,001 Things for Kids to Do, New York: Plume, 2000

The Wish List, New York: Workman Publishing,  1997

USA Today Crossword Puzzle Dictionary, New York: Hyperion; 1996

Webster’s 21st Century Large Print Dictionary, New York: Dell/Laurel, 1996

The Best of 14,000 things to be happy about Page-A-Day Calendars (1995-2007), New York: Workman

1,400 things for kids to be happy about, New York: Workman; 1994

Bartlett’s Book of Business Quotations, New York: Little, Brown; 1994

Bartlett’s Book of Love Quotations, New York: Little, Brown; 1994

Sisson’s Word and Expression Locater, New York: Prentice Hall; 1994

21st Century Manual of Style, New York: Dell/Laurel, 1993

21st Century Spelling Dictionary, New York: Dell/Laurel, 1993

21st Century Synonym & Antonym Finder, New York: Dell/Laurel, 1993

Random House Kid’s Encyclopedia, La Crescenta, CA: Knowledge Adventure, Inc., 1993

14,000 things to be happy about, New York: Workman Publishing; 1990, 2007 (revised) (1 million+ copies)

Workbook on Lexicography, Exeter Linguistic Series, University of Exeter Press; 1984


Offer a unique combination of talent and training:  PhDs in linguistics, archaeology, and Buddhist studies; work in artificial intelligence research, reference publishing, reference software, Internet content and question-answering, full range of lexicography; and development of categorization schemes, hierarchies, and ontologies. I am a Registered Professional Archaeologist.



Articles and Dissertations

Dictionaries, Journal of DSNA: “Investigating an Onomasiological Approach to Dictionary Material,” No. 8, 1987; “The Declining Role of the In-House Dictionary Staff” and a review of The Wordtree, No. 7, 1986; “Computer Applications in Lexicography: A Bibliography,” No. 4, 1983.

DSNA conference papers: “Using Learner’s Dictionaries For Young Native Speakers,” Boston University, 2005; “Computer Applications in Lexicography—A New Summary of the State-of-the-Art,” University of Michigan, 2001; “Computer Applications in Lexicography–A Summary of the State-of-the-Art,” in Advances in Lexicography, 1983.

“Dictionaries and the Intermediate Student: Communicative Needs and the Development of User Reference Skills”, in The Dictionary and the Language Learner, Tubingen: MNVerlag, 1987.

“Methods of Ordering Senses Within Entries,” in Lexicographica LEXeter ’83 Proceedings, Tubingen: MNVerlag, 1984.

Dissertations: “Buddha, The Listmaker,” Greenwich University, 2002; “Encyclopedic Dictionary of Archaeology,” Greenwich University, 1998; “Towards the Onomasiological Dictionary: The Use of the Computer in Providing Diversified Access”, University of Exeter, 1989; “Dictionaries and the Intermediate Student: Communicative Needs and the Development of User Reference Skills,” University of Exeter, 1985.

Summary of Specific Experience


Created all of the thesaurus in

Wrote dictionary of new words (21st Century Lexicon) with 7,000+ entries for

Created reverse dictionary of 70,000+ entries for

Wrote holiday and season word origin features for

Wrote 366 word-question-of-the-day features for

Wrote crossword solver for

Wrote style guide for


Dictionary entry writing, revision, and copyediting.

Designed and compiled a variety of word books.

Designed and compiled A-to-Z thesauri and conceptually arranged thesauri.

Designed categorization schemes for major reference works.

Prepared Americanization of British dictionary content.

Prepared pronunciations in a respelling system for dictionaries.

Wrote workbook on lexicography for dictionary users and students.

Created Today in History database for

Contract/freelance work on development of lexicons and major reference works; creation of ontologies, taxonomies, and hierarchies for clients such as Merriam-Webster, Hubpages, CNET, Textdigger, CitySearch, GoTo/Overture, eHow, Columbia Encyclopedia, Funk and Wagnalls Encyclopedia, Grolier and other publishers.


Conducted analyses of multimedia product containing multiple major reference books and developed plan for improving the index/browser, access, and presentation of the text.

Copyedited and proofread content and documentation for multimedia reference products.

Designed and coded subject categorization for CD-ROM products.

Designed categorization scheme and encoded 200,000+ articles in encyclopedia sets.

Edited databases of reference materials for software products, including spelling checkers, thesauri, dictionaries, encyclopedias.

Wrote 2000+ encyclopedia articles for children, including amazing facts and bibliographic information.


Answered thousands and thousands of general reference questions.

Developed basic plan and categorization scheme of online question-and-answer community.

Researched and wrote many how-to / instructional articles.

Researched best answers to thousands and thousands of knowledge-base questions.

Set up hierarchical schemes and synonym tables for online shopping, online city directories, and a search engine.


Conducted research of dictionaries, encyclopedias, almanacs, and other reference works for artificial intelligence, natural language, and information retrieval projects.

Created collection of questions with paraphrases and sentence simplification for natural language system.

Prepared corpus annotation for natural language processing.

Prepared hierarchies, subject-field categorization/classification schemes, ontologies for document summarization.

Prepared lexicons for text expansion and generation.

Prepared medical spelling dictionary and ontology, extracted medical terminology and associated definitions.

Prepared thesauri and lexicons for various uses, including automated development of lexicons and glossaries.

Prepared thesaurus of collocations and created many collections of collocations.

WordNet complete revamping: added synonyms, removed erroneous synonyms, enhanced with weighting of terms (obscurity coding) at sense and word level.

Wrote lexicon of most frequent 10,000+ words, assigned to a 1000-concept hierarchy for use in a natural-language processor.


Always meet deadlines, often finishing ahead of target.

Experienced at writing proposals and reports based on ideas, needs, and research.

Extremely good organizational and planning skills.

Have supervised assistants, worked closely with programmers/engineers.

More than 25 years’ experience as a teleworker; very willing to make regular and special visits to headquarters.

Offer a unique combination of talent and training:  PhDs in linguistics, archaeology, and Buddhist studies; work in artificial intelligence research, reference publishing, reference software, Internet content and question-answering; and development of categorization schemes, hierarchies, and ontologies.

Strength is self-motivation to complete tasks beyond expectations and on-time.

Very communicative and easily reached via email, phone, and fax.