This paper presents an exploratory corpus study of synonymous prepositions ‘about’ and ‘around’ and compares their usage and distribution differences, patterns, and similarities. The data sources are dictionaries that explain the relationship the two synonyms share, situational and contextual usage and the distinct meanings while transforming into other parts of speech. This study demonstrates the affinity between the two words and the immeasurable meanings and semantic relations they share. Finally, a corpus-based analysis of the two words reveals the collocations, frequency and context collocations they significantly occur.
Background: Lexicography is basically focused on the layout, compilation, utility and assessment of general dictionaries and specialized lexicography emphasizes on the layout, compilation, utility and assessment of the specialized dictionaries. An average user of English language, who can also be a translator, usually relies on a dictionary as a reliable source of knowledge. Objectives: The manuscript focuses on the role a dictionary plays in providing help to its readers. It is possible for a dictionary to do so with the help of its structure. The manuscript also explores the elements of the format of the entries with the help of a survey of English dictionaries by viewing the dictionaries’ introductions and examining the format of the entries. Conclusion: The trend of modern publishers and users are similarly seeking to advance lexicography towards offering more selections of information in the volumes of the dictionaries’ which require less time to read or check.