Yet more exciting information at hand from the Lexicography dept:
Dictionaries: Collins English Dictionary Fourth Edition updated 2000 according to the blurb: 21st Century Edition
The New Britannica-Webster Dictionary and Reference Guide 1981
The query at hand: Compare the macrostructure of the two dictionaries:
“A dictionary’s macrostructure refers to what constitutes an entry in a dictionary and how the entries are arranged.” Lexicography: An Introduction – Howard Jackson (2002)
I took a common prefix: im- for the investigation of this quest.
The Britannica-Webster refers me to seek in- in the dictionary. So I did and at first we get a definition of the prefix. Then, a three small column of a list of words beginning with in-. In fact, the prefix in- enjoys a set of entries in the dictionary at hand, and every sense of it has a full headword status. Aside the above-mentioned list, which has 69 words that have a correlation to in-, there is a plethora of words with the prefix in- in alphabetical order. Words that have morphological bending are treated in the same headword but the dictionary only provides the abbreviated suffix of said morphis.
Collins, on the other hand does not redirect me but instead tells me that im- is a variant of in- ¹ and in-² with superscript indicating sense status. Although there is no redirection indicated, I believe one is to assume that if we are to look for the ‘real’ definition of im- we are to understand by the word variant, that this prefix is nothing more than another form of in- hence I ought to look in the direction of said prefix. So I did. In- has two full headword status in the dictionary and thereafter a host of words with that prefix are shown although intermingled with other words that have no relation to the prefix in question. So that while you can find inappropriate in the list following the definition of the prefix, you will also find a definition for inasmuch as. Words that have a morphological bending are shown in boldface type along the whole spelled word and not just the suffix. So that if you look for inarticulate, you will also find within that same headword, inarticulately and inarticulateness.
While our current reference book for this course indicates that words that enjoy full headword status in a dictionary are more easily accessible, it is of the opinion of this student that it really does not make much difference whether a word has full headword status or not.
The reason for this statement is because it is in the understanding of the student that the approach to words is according to the next of kin method, and as we scan the headword in question, scanning is done in a vertical manner.
When we find that which approaches our search we scurrily take a quick glance to the next headword to seek for a potential similarity but in the event that said word is not there our eyes takes a horizontal turn and down the headword that most resembles that which we seek until we find it.
Vertical descension take that! You downward spiral, your days are over! jejejeje, over dramatized it a little, didn’t I???
Rolling in laughter yet?