I like sentences, but words are even better. Sometimes I love my darlings, which is basically hypocritical. Adjectives don’t bother me unless they’re trying to be persuasive. But superlatives are problematic, because I’m a big fan of WHY. I appreciate qualifiers.

A Dictionary of Modern English UsageBullet points and checklists are nice, but at some point in the presentation I picked up the more prescriptive term ACTION ITEMS. Which reminds me how much I love a thesaurus for losing or finding darlings.

I’d give up a thesaurus for Fowler’s Modern English Usage or its first edition, A Dictionary of Modern English Usage, which Oxford University Press has now reprinted.

Here are some of the sites I like for WORDS:


Acronym Finder

American Dialect Society: Words of the Year

American Rhetoric

A Dictionary of Slang (English slang and colloquialisms used in the UK)

Dictionary.com and other English Dictionaries Online

Glossary of Meteorology

The Jargon File (resources associated with The New Hacker’s Dictionary)

Language Log

Maledicta Press


NetLingo and its List of Internet Acronyms & Text Message Jargon

Office of National Drug Control Policy: Street Terms

The Online Slang Dictionary (American and English slang)

Oxford English Dictionary: Word of the Day

SeaTalk: The Dictionary of English Nautical Language and Online Nautical Dictionaries in several languages

The Vocabula Review

Webopedia: Online Computer Dictionary for Computer and Internet Terms


Word Spy: The Word Lover’s Guide to New Words

Wordtracker (free keyword suggestion tool)

World Wide Words

An old post on Jessica Poundstone’s blog called my attention to Word Spy, which was the inspiration for today’s list. I’ll add new sites as I notice them.

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