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What Reference Books Do You Use? (1 Viewer)

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TheMightyAz

Staff member
Mentor
I thought it would be helpful to compile a thread of all the useful writing aids people use.

Collins Concise Dictionary
Collins Thesaurus
Readers Digest Reverse Dictionary
Fowler's Modern English Usage
 

VRanger

Staff member
Administrator
Well, this is great! I hadn't got a clue this existed and it's marvelous.

Yep, thesaurus.com is eternally present as the first tab in my browser. I rarely need to use a dictionary while writing, but I probably use thesaurus.com on the average once an hour during writing sessions. The most common reason is I've just used a word, typed it again too soon, and I need an alternative. But I also use it at times to help find a more interesting word to replace a drab, common word ... if it seems it's taking me too much time to come up with it myself.

Thanks for mentioning the Reverse Dictionary. I've never used one, but every once in a while a word I know becomes a nebulous mystery. :) I have a particular problem remembering "ambiguous", for some reason. LOL I should keep a list of those words in a document.
 

indianroads

Staff member
Global Moderator
Yep, thesaurus.com is eternally present as the first tab in my browser. I rarely need to use a dictionary while writing, but I probably use thesaurus.com on the average once an hour during writing sessions. The most common reason is I've just used a word, typed it again too soon, and I need an alternative. But I also use it at times to help find a more interesting word to replace a drab, common word ... if it seems it's taking me too much time to come up with it myself.

Thanks for mentioning the Reverse Dictionary. I've never used one, but every once in a while a word I know becomes a nebulous mystery. :) I have a particular problem remembering "ambiguous", for some reason. LOL I should keep a list of those words in a document.

For dialogue of certain characters I’ll look things in the urban dictionary.

https://www.urbandictionary.com/
 

BrandonTheWriter

Senior Member
I don't do this. Should I?

Perhaps it would help me to use alternate words for a change. I tend to just use those I generally know.

I try to avoid repeating words too much in general anyways, but it would be handy to have.
 

TheMightyAz

Staff member
Mentor
I don't do this. Should I?

Perhaps it would help me to use alternate words for a change. I tend to just use those I generally know.

I try to avoid repeating words too much in general anyways, but it would be handy to have.

Published and successful authors do. Why shouldn't you? If you're going to use an alternative word though, make sure you check it in the dictionary first to make sure it's precisely what you want, and then look it up in Flowlers to verify its exact use. Words often come with baggage, baggage that can often change the meanings slightly.

Have a gay day.
 

Bloggsworth

WF Veterans
Not bragging, but I seldom have the need for any of the above, I sometimes use WordWeb to check spelling (correcting to English English when necessary), I guess I'm lucky in having a well stocked vocabulary. If I use a dictionary it is to check a meaning unrelated to writing, usually something technical.
 

BrandonTheWriter

Senior Member
Not bragging, but I seldom have the need for any of the above, I sometimes use WordWeb to check spelling (correcting to English English when necessary), I guess I'm lucky in having a well stocked vocabulary. If I use a dictionary it is to check a meaning unrelated to writing, usually something technical.

Okay smarty pants. :p

I have noticed your vocabulary in the Word Games. Love some of the words you use!
 

Bloggsworth

WF Veterans
It's OK to invent words for a purpose, for example "Runcible spoon" in the Owl and the Pussycat poem by Edward Lear. I used the phrase "mumbled randomlings" in a poem, nobody questiond its use, so clearly they understood the meaning from the context.

One shoudn't be afraid to use the correct word in the right context, if you wish to say that someone is delighted, then say it, don't use happy if it is not the exact emotion you wish to convey. English is, probably, the language most capable of precision when written; there being, apparently, one million words in the Greater Oxford English Dictionary; so use every nuance the language is capable of conveying.
 

indianroads

Staff member
Global Moderator
This has probably happened to all of us...

A friend or an acquaintance learns that we are authors, and says "Oh, I wanna write a book. Any advice?"
Hand them a dictionary and say, "All the parts you need are in here. Assemble them as you chose."
 

Taylor

Staff member
Global Moderator
This has probably happened to all of us...

A friend or an acquaintance learns that we are authors, and says "Oh, I wanna write a book. Any advice?"
Hand them a dictionary and say, "All the parts you need are in here. Assemble them as you chose."

Ok...that's a little nasty...lol!
 
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