Orin Hargraves (410) 346-6025 email: orinhargraves at gmail dot com
I work primarily as a lexicographer and language researcher for numerous US, UK, and European research organizations, law firms, publishers, broadcasters, startups, and other concerns. My chief area of concentration is the English language, with expert knowledge of semantics, grammar, and dialectal differences between British and American. Most projects I am involved in result in the publication of reference books, webpages, ontologies, lexical databases, and in the production of successively refined inputs to natural language processing (NLP) systems. I research and develop expert testimony about the meaning and use of words and phrases. I work regularly with WordNet, VerbNet, PropBank and FrameNet.
lexicography ● teaching and training in any of the fields noted herein ● design and management of annotation and adjudication for NLP research, training data, WSD ● ontology development for data mining, keyword extraction, Q&A, summarization, WSD, event detection ● expert witness testimony about word meaning, behavior, distribution, and usage ●reference writing and editing (specializing in language reference) ● editorial management for reference and dictionary projects ● expert in British and American English differences ● English language localization for British English and American English ● lexical research in corpora and other databases ● software: Sketch Engine, XMetaL, PubMan, DPS (IDM’s Dictionary Production System)● languages: conversant in Moroccan Arabic, working knowledge of French, German, Spanish, classical Greek
Things I Do
Annotation Management: Good output depends on good input, and for that you need good training data. I can organize a team to annotate your natural language data according to any schema in order to develop gold standard training material for NLP tasks. Even better, I can do that in an individual capacity, thus enabling you to avoid the absurd overheads of working through a university.
Dictionary Consulting: If you want to publish a dictionary or other highly formatted reference work and don't know where to start, I can acquaint you with the various software platforms, editing scenarios, and publishing options (paper, mag media, Internet, mobile app, or any combination of these). I have extensive contacts in English language reference publishing and I have worked for most of the companies who do it.
Lexicography: Defining words and editing definitions, along with all the other tasks of dictionary-making, is what I do best and most, and I'm always ready for more. I have worked with half a dozen different database and text management systems, including DPS, Datalogics Pager, and PubMan.
Lexical Research: I work regularly on aspects of various large-scale NLP projects involving paraphrasing, machine translation, and artificial intelligence. I am happy to get involved in any aspect of similar projects that requires expert knowledge of English grammar and syntax or lexicographical insight into language behavior and patterns. I have extensive experience with WordNet, FrameNet, VerbNet, PropBank, and several public domain and proprietary corpora.
Expert Testimony: I can research and produce expert witness reports about the use and behavior of words: statistical analysis of how words or phrases are used and what this implies about their meaning and people's understanding of them.
Script Consulting: I can edit scripts of all kinds (feature films, documentaries, TV docs and dramas) to ensure that the English dialog is historically accurate and that no startling anachronisms fall from the lips of your celluloid or digital creations.
Ontologies and Taxonomies: Have you built a lexical ontology or taxonomy for your industry? Or are you letting your competitors get all the glory and advantages? Let my team of crack lexicographers and linguistics graduate students do this for you.
English Language Localization: I can edit and/or rewrite text-based products written in any dialect of English in order to make them suitable for readers and speakers of British English or American English.
Editorial Management: I can assemble a team of home-based lexicographers and/or reference editors, or supervise the one you've already got, for book or multi-document projects. Provided that the logistics are workable, I can also do on-site editorial project management for jobs lasting a week up to several months.
Reference Content Management: Does your online glossary suck? Many do, because they have not had the benefit of being edited and managed by a lexicographer. I'm happy to give you a quote on overhauling yours, so that it will enhance rather than drag down the quality of your website.
Other Web Content: It's not my forte but if you like my writing (the Language Lounge column on VisualThesaurus.com and Vocabulary.com is the best place to sample it) and need content for your website, send me an email.
Language Consulting: Are your company or corporate communications sending the right message? You might be surprised to learn how linguistics and language understanding can help to solve brand, communication and organizational problems. But you won't know if you don't ask! If you're dealing in English, whether natively written or translated, British or American, I can help you pitch it just right.
Manuscript Evaluations: You can send me book proposals or manuscript samples of dictionaries and other language reference works. I'll give you an expert evaluation for a standard fee; this includes an evaluation of the quality of the work, tips about who might be willing to publish it, and what you need to do in order to make that happen. I can also survey the market for any particular reference genre and report on it for you. I regularly evaluate manuscripts of language reference works for publishers.
Education: I taught the Lexicography course at the Linguistic Society of America's summer institute at the University of Colorado (Boulder) in the summer of 2011 and at the University of Michigan in 2013. I have also guest-lectured for the Lexicography Masterclass. I can adapt a course to your needs. Currently I lecture in the Program for Writing and Rhetoric at the University of Colorado. Please contact me if you are interested in engaging an instructor for anything related to lexicography, computational semantics, or the making of dictionaries.
It's Been Said Before: a guide to the use and abuse of verbal cliches (Oxford University Press, 2014; paperback 2016)
Slang Rules!, an ESL self-study book (Merriam-Webster, 2008)
The Big Book of Spelling Tests (Black Dog Leventhal, 2007)
Spell It!, the study guide for the National Spelling Bee (Scripps Newspapers, 2006 – 2010)
New Words (Oxford University Press, 2004)
Mighty Fine Words and Smashing Expressions, a reference book about British and American English differences (Oxford University Press, 2003)
Chicago At Your Door, a guide for settlers (Times Editions Pte Ltd 1999)
London At Your Door (Kuperard, 1997)
Culture Shock! Morocco, a guide to customs and etiquette for foreigners in Morocco (Graphic Arts Center, 1995)
Articles, Papers, Presentations
Lexicography, Lexical Research, NLP
Contributing Editor for the Oxford Essential Business and Office Dictionary (2002)
Editor for the Oxford American College Dictionary (2002)
Editor for the Macmillan English Dictionary (2002)
Contributing editor to the New Oxford American Dictionary (2001, 2004, 2010), the Oxford Essential Dictionary of the US Military (2001), and the Oxford Dictionary of Difficult Words (2001)
Americanization and expansion of entries for the Microsoft Encarta Thesaurus (2001)
Lexicographer for the Encarta World English Dictionary (1999)
Contributing editor to the Cambridge Dictionary of American English (1997, 2008)
New defining and editing of Longman Interactive American Dictionary CD-ROM (1997)
Americanization of the Longman Handy Learner’s Dictionary (1993)
Lexicographer for the Longman Dictionary of English Language and Culture (1992)
Other Writing and Editing
Author of the monthly "Language Lounge" column and of Word of the Day at VisualThesaurus.com (ongoing)
Book Review Editor of Dictionaries, the journal of the Dictionary Society of North America (2006 – 2010)
Writing and compilation from existing material of a vocabulary builder and a grammar toolkit for St. Martin’s Press (2005)
Writing and editing of encyclopedia articles for the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Encyclopedia (2002; subjects: botany, computers, food, languages, the Middle East, religion)
Writing of intermediate and advanced EFL texts for Moroccan secondary schools (1980s)
Associations and Memberships
singer, Colorado Masterworks Chorus, starting 2016
singer, Seicento Baroque Ensemble, starting 2015
singer, Cantabile; starting 2012 - 2015, board member 2013-2015
member (since 1993), the Dictionary Society of North America; executive board member 2005-2015; president 2011-2013
Orin Hargraves >