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Essential Web Based Resources for The Written Word

This is our collection of websites focusing on the written word. It includes interesting, amusing and informative sites that we feel have content and relevance to the college or university student studying literature, writing or a related discipline. These sites are not lists of links. Instead they contain data, tutorials and background information that will serve to assist the understanding of the written word as well as providing ideas for research projects and papers.  For our collection of general academic resources which may contain related materials as well as those from other subjects click here.

Acronyma.com provides the users an interface to a large database of acronyms found on the Internet using proprietary algorithms. The collection of data that was created and edited over the course of many years is copyrighted by Esus, Inc - Belgium. As a user of Acronyma.com, you may use the database as a reference.

Acronyms and Abbreviations Dictionary
This is a free acronyms and abbreviations finder, and also a study in language and communications. This acronyms list contains acronyms and abbreviations, with origins in the army, navy, medical, computers, internet, customer service, business and training fields, including the best funny slang acronyms and abbreviations, several 'non pc' (ie 'politically incorrect') examples, and a few extremely politically-incorrect examples.

For someone who could not seem to get optical illusions, wordplay, and philosophy out of his mind while studying logo design and working at a type shop, ambigrams may have been an inevitable result.

Acronym Finder
The Acronym Finder contains the web's largest and most comprehensive acronyms and abbreviations searchable database. The database contains acronyms/abbreviations about: general topics; Internet; slang, chat, & popular culture; email; newsgroups; computers & information technology; science; medicine; technology; aviation, federal, state and local government;
telecommunications; airport codes; organizations/associations; and the military. The database contains acronyms in many languages including: French, German, Swedish, Spanish, Portuguese, and others. It can be
searched for acronyms and within meanings, and keywords within meanings. The database is growing very rapidly, with an average of 200 new verified and edited definitions added to the database each day.

American Folklore
American Folklore
site contains retellings of American folktales, Native American myths and legends, tall tales, weather folklore and ghost stories from each and every one of the 50 United States. You can read about all sorts of famous characters like Paul Bunyan, Pecos Bill, Daniel Boone, and many more.

American Writers
American Writers A companion site for C-SPAN's special television series for 2002 Created by Cable. Offered as a Public Service.

Ancient Scripts
The aim of Ancient Scripts is not to replace texts books or instructional web sites. Instead, it is designed to give an introduction to writing systems, which hopefully will tantalize the reader into searching for more information on the web or in books and publications.

Arts & Letters Daily
Arts & Letters Daily is a service of The Chronicle of Higher Education. It provides links to articles and works on a broad range of subjects from art to zoology and anything in between. 

Awesome Stories
Awesome Stories produces stories behind some of the world's most interesting people, places and events. By assembling URLs to some of the most important, relevant, on-line material in one place, and organizing those links around an interesting story, Awesome Stories uncovers for everyone what was once available only for scholars.

Banished Words List
Banished Words List
Hardly looking 'metrosexual,' a 'shocked and awed' Lake Superior State University Word Banishment selection committee emerged from its spider hole with its annual List of Words Banished from the Queen's English for Mis-Use, Over-Use and General Uselessness. Great fun!

Bartlett's Quotations
Bartlett's Quotations
This tenth edition of 1919 contains over 11,000 searchable quotations and was the first new edition of John Bartlett’s corpus to be published after his death in 1905—the new editor, however, choosing more to supplement than revise the work of the first name in quotations.

Cliché Finder
Over 3300 clichés are indexed and searchable by keywords.

Common Errors in English
Common Errors in English is concerned with deviations from the standard use of English as judged by sophisticated users such as professional writers, editors, teachers, and literate executives and personnel officers. The aim of this site is to help you avoid low grades, lost employment opportunities, lost business, and titters of amusement at the way you write or speak.

The Complete Review
The Complete Review
is a site designed to provide you with as much information as possible about a wide variety of books, taking advantage of the large amount of information available on the internet. On this site you will find individual pages devoted to each book under review. For each book they try to provide you with the following:

  • Basic information about the book
  • Our review and recommendation (or warning)
  • A summary of reviews from the media
  • Links to reviews available on the internet
  • Links to other relevant sites
  • Suggestions as to similar books which might be of interest
  • Basic information about the author

Glossary of Sexual and Scatological Euphemisms
Glossary of Sexual and Scatological Euphemisms Assembled for the FAST Area Studies Website Department of Translation Studies, University of Tampere, Finland

English to American Dictionary
English to American Dictionary  Americans don't really speak English, do they? Or is it the English who don't speak English?

The Forest of Rhetoric
The Forest of Rhetoric
This site is intended to help beginners, as well as experts, make sense of rhetoric, both on the small scale (definitions and examples of specific terms) and on the large scale (the purposes of rhetoric, the patterns into which it has fallen historically as it has been taught and practiced for 2000+ years).

A Story of Over 50,000 Words Without Using the Letter “E”

Grandiloquent Dictionary
Grandiloquent Dictionary
is the result of an ongoing project to collect and distribute the most obscure and rare words in the English language. It also contains a few words which do not have equivalent words in English. At present, the dictionary contains approximately 2300 words, though it is constantly growing.

The Heteronym Page
A Heteronym is a word that has the same spelling as another word but with a different pronunciation and meaning. These words are sometimes also called homographs.

How to write in plain English
The main advantages of plain English are:

  • it is faster to write;
  • it is faster to read; and
  • you get your message across more often, more easily and in a friendlier way.

Learn the true meanings of common idioms and their origin and usage.

Linguistic Atlas of the World
Linguistic Atlas of the World These maps show the names of the world's countries written in the language which they speak. In the case of multilingual countries, the official and/or most widely spoken language is used.

The Literature Page
The Literature Page  is your place to read classic books, plays, stories, poems, essays, and speeches online, brought to you by the creators of The Quotations Page. The collection currently includes 222 works from 85 authors.

Lulu gives you the power to publish and sell print on demand books, e-books, music, images, calendars and more.

Memidex is a free online dictionary/thesaurus with several unique features, including more extensive cross-referencing, complete inflections, simple interface, and frequent updates.

The Modern Word
The Modern Word is a large network of literary sites dedicated to exploring twentieth century writers who have pushed the envelope of traditional narrative and structure. This includes many writers associated with Modernism, surrealism, “magical realism,” and postmodernism.

Mother Goose Society
The Mother Goose Society was founded in 1987 to encourage a love for the warm tradition of Mother Goose rhymes and Mother Goose's comforting embrace and to promote the annual celebration of Mother Goose Day (May 1st).

Net Lingo
Net Lingo is an award-winning dictionary of Internet terms. It contains thousands of words and definitions that describe the online world of business, technology, and communication.

Original Hobo Nickel Society
A Dictionary of Old Hobo Slang compiled from many books on hoboes, and also some original material supplied to the author.

Online Etymology Dictionary
This is a map of the wheel-ruts of modern English. Etymologies are not definitions; they're explanations of what our words meant and how they sounded 600 or 2,000 years ago.

OttoBib- Make a bibliography. It's free, easy and OttoMatic. Enter the ISBN of each book and the does the rest. In addition to building a works cited, OttoBib gives you a permanent URL you can reference.

Oxymoron List
Large collection of contradictory words and phrases.

An Oxymoron is a combination of contradictory or incongruous words, such as 'Cruel Kindness' or 'Jumbo Shrimp' (Jumbo means 'large' while Shrimp means 'small'). It is a literary figure of speech in which opposite or contradictory words, terms, phrases or ideas are combined to create a rhetorical effect by paradoxical means.

Pain in the English
There is certainly no shortage of people who claim to be experts of English language, but this is precisely what can be frustrating for the students of English; because the experts can never agree with one another. One expert could authoritatively tell you one thing, and you would follow it faithfully for years, only to be corrected by another expert. PainInTheEnglish.com encourages discussions of such gray areas of English language.

The Phrase Finder
The Phrase Finder includes: Phrases Thesaurus, Meanings and origins of phrases and sayings, Discussion Forum, A Phrase A Week, Phrase Quizzes

If you're looking for an online dictionary, a word list on a given topic, or the definitions to rare and unusual words, the Phrontistery is for you. Here, you will find a 15,500-word dictionary of obscure and rare words, the International House of Logorrhea, as well as many glossaries, word lists, and other English language and etymology resources.

The Quotations Page
The Quotations Page has
over 21,000 quotations online from over 2,500 authors, and more are added daily. Don't forget to stop by the Forums for answers to your quotation questions.

Quotations on every topic, by every author, and in every fashion possible. Also user discussion groups.

Real Pulp
Real Pulp is an online collection of pulp fiction.

FREE Online Rhyming Dictionary.

Sayings and Phrases
Sayings and Phrases details the Meanings and Origins of Phrases, Sayings and Idioms

Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Database
Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Database
is an inclusive tool, designed to cover all aspects of science fiction, fantasy, horror, supernatural and weird fiction. History, criticism, commentary, fan writings and some reviews are all included

Skeptic's Dictionary
The Skeptic's Dictionary is a Collection of Strange Beliefs, Amusing Deceptions, and Dangerous Delusions (and how to think critically about them)

Starving Writers
Starving Writers is a freelance writer's community.

Style Guide
This guide is based on the style book which is given to all journalists at The Economist.

Text Analysis Tool
Text Analysis Tool offers
detailed statistics of your text, perfect for translators (quoting), for webmasters (ranking) or for normal users, to know the subject of a text. Now with new features as the analysis of words groups, finding out the keyword density, analyze the prominence of word or expressions.

Today In Literature
Today In Literature, a calendar of engaging stories about the great books, writers, and events in literary history.

Turning the Pages
Turning the Pages is a project of the British Library that puts 14 great books online.

Underground Literary Alliance
Underground Literary Alliance is a group of lit-zeen writers and poets who strangely yet strongly believe that American fiction should be something relevant to people’s
lives, instead of the lame, overly-wrought, navel-gazing crap that the congloms have displayed front & center at your local chain bookshop.

Visuwords™ online graphical dictionary — Look up words to find their meanings and associations with other words and concepts. Produce diagrams reminiscent of a neural net. Learn how words associate.Its a dictionary! Its a thesaurus! Visuwords™ uses Princeton University’s WordNet, an opensource database built by University students and language researchers. Combined with a visualization tool and user interface built from a combination of modern web technologies, Visuwords™ is available as a free resource to all patrons of the web.

Wikiquote, a free online compendium of quotations in every language, including sources (where known), translations of non-English quotes

WordCount™ is an artistic experiment in the way we use language. It presents the 86,800 most frequently used English words, ranked in order of commonness. Each word is scaled to reflect its frequency relative to the words that precede and follow it, giving a visual barometer of relevance. The larger the word, the more we use it. The smaller the word, the more uncommon it is.

The Word Detective
The Word Detective on the Web is the online version of The Word Detective, a newspaper column answering readers' questions about words and language. The Word Detective is written by Evan Morris and appears in finer newspapers in the U.S., Mexico and Japan

Wordsmith.org is a worldwide online community of some half-million people who share a love for words, wordplay, language, and literature. They hail from Australia to Zimbabwe and almost all other places in between.

Words Without Borders
Words Without Borders undertakes to promote international communication through translation of the world's best writing--selected and translated by a distinguished group of writers, translators, and publishing professionals--and publishing and promoting these works (or excerpts) on the web.

World's Longest Palindrome
World's Longest Palindrome, 17,259 words with an explanation of how it was done.

World Wide Words
World Wide Words
The 1500+ pages archived on this site have been written over the past eight years and several more are added every week. Most are about English words and phrases—what they mean, where they came from, how they have evolved, and the ways in which people sometimes misuse them. A few others concern issues of grammar, style and punctuation.


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