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What's the good word?


Open the window for learning with our pick of DIY websites and blogs.

If you love the English language and are constantly looking for ways to improve your vocabulary, diction and writing skills, or even your prowess in Scrabble, then fret no more. Fire up your web browser and visit these sites to bookmark the URLs. Each of these superb resources promises to open up a whole new world of English to you, whether you're a student of the language or someone who is proficient with the lingua franca.

>> www. thefreedictionary. com

This site is arguably one of the best resources in Cyberia for anyone looking to polish their linguistic skills. Besides dictionaries in English and 13 other languages, it boasts a medical, a legal and a financial dictionary, a thesaurus, a section for abbreviations, idioms, as well as a literature reference library - and all of it supported by a nifty search engine. Daily visitors can expect regular features such as 'Word of the day' and 'Quote of the day'. But my personal favourite has got to be the word game section which includes Hangman and Spelling Bee. Equipped with this resource, you will never be stuck for a word.

>> www. etymonline. com

Learning the meaning of words is the first step towards increasing your word power. Studying etymology, the genesis of the word, will only improve your language prowess. Enter Etymonline. This site will help you understand the origin, development, and 'true sense' of a word. Simply, if you need to know the root of any word in English, then this is the place to visit. It even covers "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious". You might want to look that one up while you're at it.

>> www. visuwords. com

Who said dictionaries have to be boring? Visuwords is a Flash-based graphical dictionary that lets you look up words to find their meanings and associations with other words and concepts. Enter a word into the search box to find its relation to other similar/related words. Whether synonyms, hyponyms, hypernyms, meronyms or holonyms, you can find it all here, represented visually - you have to try this site out to see how beautifully it works. The resource uses Princeton University's WordNet, an open source word database built by students and language researchers. In short, it's a wonderful resource for writers, journalists, students, teachers and almost anyone who loves words.

>> www. urbandictionary. com

There are words for which you can find the meanings in traditional dictionaries and thesauri and then there are words that you won't find in those tomes. For the latter, turn to Urban Dictionary. The site - in existence since 1999 - boasts of over 6 million user-defined words and phrases;including internet and street slang. Since the resource relies on user submissions, it is in a constant state of expansion with newer entries being introduced daily. People submitting definitions must provide a valid e-mail address which is used to establish good faith. And every submission must be approved by the site's editors before it is added to the dictionary. Still, approach Urban Dictionary with caution. Some entries - given the nature of this resource - might contain offensive content. On the other hand, no cunning linguist can afford to ignore newer catchphrases or words that are constantly being used introduced into daily parlance - a good site to get 'with it'.

>> www. englishpractice. com

Improving your vocabulary is one thing, but the art of stringing words together to form complete sentences is something else. This resource is ideal for those who want to brush up on the English language, its grammar and punctuation, and on their writing skills. The site is neatly categorised into various subsections such as business English, common mistakes, creative writing, letter writing, style guide, etc. The best part, it carries regular quizzes on the language to help you test your proficiency. What's more, it boasts an exhaustive monthly archive that dates back to September 2009.

>> www. grammaruntied. com

Like the previous website, The Tongue Untied provides instruction in basic English grammar, sentence structure and word choice, as well as rules for punctuation according to the Associated Press Style - a style sheet used by newspapers. To make things simple for learners, the resource also has a section called the '10-week Curriculum' that breaks down lessons into 10 modules. Regardless of your comfort with English, this site is well worth a place in your browser bookmarks.

Reader's opinion (2)

Arun SethiSep 17th, 2011 at 11:17 AM

This information is very useful particularly to central India's students, looking to growing demand of the lenguage in every field of life.

Shakilur RahmanSep 5th, 2011 at 10:12 AM

These URLSs are very useful.

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