Every other Tuesday, we talk about the different tools available for writers to make life easier (theoretically 😉 ).
Today’s Tool: Merriam Webster
Platform: browser, Android, iOS
What it does:
You likely know Merriam Webster as a dictionary. As a writer, you should know Merriam Webster as a dictionary!
Words have meanings and MW can give you those meanings. It’s important for writers of all kinds to have a good working vocabulary and an extended writing vocabulary. Now, this doesn’t mean you should use a $50 word every time you could use a ten cent word. But we, as writers, should use the most correct word that will be understood in order to convey the idea we want the reader to have.
So having access to a dictionary is a no-brainer. And Merriam Webster is one of the longest-lived dictionaries in the US, having been around for almost 200 years.
Now, if you haven’t been to Merriam Webster’s website yet, you might be surprised. It’s for more than just looking up words!
You can see trending words that are being looked up, as well as the Word of the Day (as I write this, it’s “hebetude;” if you want to know what that means, I encourage you to look it up 😉 ). You can watch videos about different word-related topics. These are short, interesting little snippets of knowledge about English as a language, as well as grammar and correct word usage. Again, as I write this, the video for today is Words of the Year: 1066, which I also encourage you to watch!
Not only does MW offer lots of knowledge and word education, but there are word games available, such as the Time Traveler Quiz: Which Came First? and Typeshift, a mashup of anagrams and word searches. These and other games can help you burn a couple minutes of your day when you need a break and have the added benefit of making you smarter 🙂
As a writer, all of these tools can be beneficial to me. It’s not just about looking things up!
Do you have a writing tool that you absolutely can’t live without? Drop a line to me down below and tell me about it!
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