If you’re reading this blog, chances are you like books. Does it follow that if you like books, you probably like words?
Here is a website for the word-lovers amongst us. Or even for the word-challenged amongst us. It’s everything you need, all on one simple screen. It’s also, like Wikipedia, enriched by user contribution. As they say, “Wordnik is billions of words, 984,433,066 example sentences, 6,978,980 unique words, 232,313 comments, 179,206 tags, 121,453 pronunciations, 78,324 favorites and 1,040,401 words in 33,271 lists created by 83,917 Wordniks.”
www.wordnik.com has one simple search box on its screen. Type in some lovely or questionable word… say, efficacy, one of my favorite words for reasons beyond my own understanding. You’ll get:
- definitions from five credible sources
- a long list of examples in which the word is used, hyperlinked to the source in case it looks interesting to you
- columns of “Related Words:” synonyms (same meaning);, hypernyms(more generic or abstract words); words found in similar contexts; words that contain this word in their definition; and tags (user-generated)
- and finally, a list of user lists which contain your word.
You can join the community, just browse, or sign up for an email “Word of the Day.” However you play with the site, you’re bound to find your inner wordnik, as well as a great (dare I say efficacious?) resource for writing, Scrabble, education, and mind-honing in general. Enjoy!