Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Any writing course, writing tutors and how-do writing books always stress the importance of a good dictionary. As far as I know, it seems like Oxford dictionary is the all-time favourites for most writers.

I use Thesaurus (the one that comes with Microsoft Word) more than my Oxford Shorter dictionary. But more than ever, I find myself trying to search for words from the "look" of a thing or locating a word from a concept. I have found below two dictionaries exceptional in cases like these.

Britannica Visual Dictionary is "a full color illustrated reference book of a wide variety of object from all aspect of life".

The Writer’s Digest Flip Dictionary is organized by using a reversed method for finding the right words and phrases describing people, places and things.

Example: I’m looking for the word for a female goat. Form Flip Dictionary, I find the word goat with this entry - goat, female: nanny goat. Also, the Flip Dictionary could double as thesaurus as well.

I highly recommend including these two to your collection of reference books.


writtenwyrdd said...

My favorite is the OED. But I rely rather heavily on the internet to look up words. Not as exhaustive, generally speaking, but fast.

I would caution any writer to NOT rely on MS thesaurus or dictionary, however. The things are constantly not giving me words that are real words. Or permutations of real words that are real permutations. Nothing tops a good dictionary; and those aren't. :)

Thanks for stopping by the blog, Hybrid J.

Cheryl Finley: said...

What unique and wonderful resources you have provided. Thank you! I didn't now about the Flip Dictionary...and I do love words and language...I'll have to look out for that one. I do have a Rhyming Dictionary from years ago. I don't use it much since I just let the poetry flow however it wants to come...but every now and then it comes in handy.

Thanks for coming by my blog..glad the mandalas inspired you, and I'm looking forward to either seeing yours or hearing about your journey with them. You're welcome to join us at the Mandala Oasis Yahoo Community (via my blog).

Again, thanks for the inspiration via your unique expression, and your blog!

laughingwolf said...

good stuff, j... i'd add 'the synonym finder', by j.i.rodale, and either encyclopaedia brittanica or encyclopedia americana

laughingwolf said...

hey j... fyi: i did find another prompt for a new cinnamine tale... should be posted in no longer than a week, or so :O lol

Hybrid J said...

Hi Writtenwrydd,

Thanks for stopping by and appreciate your comments on MS thesaurus. I didn't realize about the permutation, so it was good that you pointed it out to me. I need to go back to my OED more often.

Hybrid J said...

Hi Cheryl,

Thanks for the lovely comments. Though I don't write poem but the Rhyming Dictionary is one of my favourite dictionary. I like to read the words out to hear their "rings" in my ears. Appreciate your encouraging words on mandala journey. I've been enjoying them for years. Maybe I'll post one of mine these days ... Anyway will hop to your place later to check out the oasis. :)

Hybrid J said...

Hi to the wolf who laughs, ;)

I LOVE Britannica Encyclopeida and have it loaded in my laptop! I'm one of those weird people who read encyclopedia in my spare time. You could get so many story ideas from reading it. Will check out the Synonym Finder you recommended. I've been trying to find a good one for a while.

Oh, so glad that Cinnamine will have another adventure! Looking forward to it. Laughingwolf rocks!!! :)