This article is the second in a series of two concerned with the word list section of the Afrikaanse
Woordelys en Spelreëls (AWS). The online version of the word list section was released to
users in 2010, shortly after the tenth version of the AWS was published in 2009. This version
of the 2009 Woordelys is the focus of the current article. We investigate the Woordelys from
a user perspective and contextualise our study against the background of the rapid development
of e-lexicography, and the possibilities opened up by the availability of online lexicographic reference sources. We start our investigation with a critical evaluation from the perspective
of the user of the Woordelys. In our evaluation we refer to the implications of the unavailability
of the Afrikaans spelling rules to the online user, the inadequacy of the software underpinning
the online version of the Woordelys, and lastly, we comment on the fact that no typographical
distinction is made within the articles between different data types. Secondly, we discuss the
status of the Woordelys as lexicographic information source. In the third section we focus on
the user of the Woordelys viewed against the backgound of the information needs of the user
in the information era. Analysis of logfiles is a relatively new technique for obtaining
information on the real information needs of the user. Based on such analysis, we conclude
that the needs of the user of the Woordelys are not restricted to seeking information on spelling
of specific words only – users of the Woordelys have far more sophisticated needs than those
pertaining exclusively to spelling. By compiling a corpus of unedited writing by
Afrikaansspeaking students, we were able to identify words which are often misspelled and
which consequently are suitable candidates for inclusion in future versions of the Woordelys.
We conclude that the current online version of the Woordelys – despite being a valuable
reference work – does not provide adequately for the information needs of the modern user.
In terms of the function theory – one of the modern theories of lexicography – lexicographic
information sources should not only provide cognitive information, but should also provide
clear guidance with regard to text production. Provision of this kind of information should be a consideration when a revised version of the Woordelys is planned. Apart from making a
number of recommendations with regard to a more functional lemma selection, we also
recommend the use of a lexicographic ruler, although the relevance of such a ruler for the
Woordelys, which could be seen as a kind of special dictionary, has not yet been ascertained.
Currently, there is a good correlation between the predictions made by the ruler for Afrikaans
and the actual alphabetical stretches covered in the Woordelys. We conclude with a number
of suggestions which could assist in the creation of an improved online version of the old
familiar Woordelys, which could serve its users well in the next hundred years.