Dictionary Round-Up

In OneLook Dictionary Search (www.onelook.com), type the word or phrase you want to look up in the search field, click, and watch a stack of links to 20 or more dictionaries pop up. Merriam-Webster, Webster’s New World College, American Heritage, Macmillian, Collins, Cambridge, and other biggies are here, naturally, along with lesser known dictionaries, online-only dictionaries, and even some that are something else first and a dictionary second (Rhymezone.com, for example).

The site  also comes in handy when you try to decide between alternative spellings or forms of words. Consider copyeditor vs. copy editor. The more I read as I knocked RIBF into shape, the more copy editor caught my eye. Keying the two-word form into OneLook.com yielded 20 links to dictionaries,as opposed to 6 for copyeditor – evidence of which form is overtaking the other. Old habits die hard, so I’m still wed to the one-word version. But I may sooner or later go with the flow and break copyeditor in two. For better or worse, that’s my job. (See also “Stays on top of common usage” in About Us.)

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