The one topic I often get asked to write and speak about is technology. One of most popular presentations is my ‘Whole Lotta Tools in a Short Amounta Time” or variations of it. It seems only fitting that the one thing I will post regularly about is technology. I will provide tips on various software or applications, online tools, gadgets, short-cuts and how-tos.
I thought it would be fitting for my first Tech Tip Tuesday article to be about something near and dear to librarians: a dictionary.
There are a lot of online dictionaries. Some are online versions of the old standbys such as the OED and Merriam-Webster; some are free, some are subscription based. One of my favorites is Wordnik. I am a word nerd. I love words. Wordnik was started by Erin McKean, another word-lover who gets to make a living working with words! I was introduced to Erin through TED and TED talk: “Redefining the Dictionary“, which may also be where Wordnik was born.
Back to Wordnik itself. There are lots of reasons to like Wordnik. Here are a few:
- gives definitions from more than one source
- also has a thesaurus, with synonyms, antonyms, related words, and more
- examples! see how a word is being used in context
- pronunciations (and you can record your own)
- flickr images tagged with the word
- twitter posts using the word
- stats on the word, such as how often it has been looked up and what it’s basic scrabble score is
- ‘used in phrase’ section
- it’s a community dictionary (you can tag words, create lists, and comment on words)
- translate a word into other languages
- there’s a mobile Wordnik and extensions and plugins too
- and more!
See for yourself what Wordnik can do: Here is a search for “serendipity” @ Worknik: http://www.wordnik.com/words/serendipity
Remember elementary school and all those vocabulary quizzes and homework assignments? How I wish I had had Wordnik then; it makes learning vocabulary lists so much fun. So go play (and learn). I must warn you though…you might just become a Word Nerd!