From Category: Reference Sites
The Web of Language is Dennis Baron's blog focusing on newsworthy issues in grammar, language usage, and technology. Topics include the history of gender-neutral pronouns, America's politically motivated bans on using foreign languages, what makes a brand name a racial slur, and the interpretation of hate-crimes statutes.
The UCLA Children's Book Collection online archive offers free downloads of over 1,800 digital titles, from classics like Little Women and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer to lesser-known public domain works from the 19th century and earlier.
The website of the University of Arizona Poetry Center features reference materials such as a digitized collection of writers' portrait photos, a blog with articles and interviews about poetry and education, and a basic guide to the poetry publication process.
Brief definitions of poetic forms and literary devices from Acatalectic to Zeugma.
This entertaining article at The Statesider shows a map of 222 typographical fonts named after US locations, some with quirky stories behind them. (For instance, Georgia, one of the more common fonts used today, got its name from a tabloid headline that read "Alien Heads Found in Georgia"!)
Clearinghouse for over 36,000 legal forms that are free or available for purchase online. Includes state-specific forms. Writers will appreciate the templates for contracts, rights assignments and intellectual property filings.
Each word you enter links to other words in a fascinating, shifting web. Great brainstorming tool.
Crowd-sourced online dictionary allows readers to supplement existing definitions and suggest new words for inclusion. The site also tracks how words are being used in tags and captions at online photo- and video-sharing sites. Additional fun features include a random word-of-the-day generator and a counter for each word's value in Scrabble points.
Created by Marissa Skudlarek, Wordsworth is a free online search tool that helps writers of historical fiction use period-appropriate language. You can compare a passage from your story to a corpus of fiction from the decade you're writing about, or look up whether a specific phrase is found in fiction from that decade. Wordsworth's database of comparison texts currently features (mostly British) classics written from 1801-1923. More texts after this date will be added when their US copyright expires.
WordTips features several free resources to help with writing skills, anagrams and word puzzles, and Scrabble vocabulary. This page gives an overview of grammar and punctuation rules, plus links to many other sites with more detail on these topics. Clear, simple presentation makes it a suitable resource for middle- and high-school students.
Jump-start your imagination with this collection of quotes, historical trivia, catch-phrases, slang dictionary and more. Includes selection of best Internet humor. Some pages free; full access $20/year for individuals, $99/year for companies.
Created by Hiveword, the Writer's Knowledge Base search engine indexes over 40,000 online articles on the craft and business of writing. Search by keyword or browse by category.