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Books Library of Congress Home Page
The last word on books. Research tools, special exhibitions, and more.

Expression and Expressions

2012's Most Disliked Words and Phrases
Like, whatever.... Just sayin', here's a short-list of 2012's way-overused and wearing-thin words & phrases, acording to this year's Marist poll. See the following link, too.

2013 List of of Banished Words
...like 'trending'. (The 2010 annoyances included 'tweet' and 'app'.) Now includes some noxious and/or overused phrases, like 'bucket list' and 'fiscal cliff'. From Lake Superior State University.

Acronym Finder
As the name suggests, a very useful page dedicated to helping out when faced with acronyms rather than fully spelled out association names, abbreviated common expressions (a.s.a.p., etc.), from A to Z. Effective with e-acronyms, too. For example, I asked it to define ttyl, and it came up with 2 definitions. TTYL: 1) Talk To You/Ya Later 2)Type To You Later

New Words & Slang
From Merriam-Webster, who offer a great online dictionary (below) but no longer offer their earlier archive of Cool Words and Slang. :-(
This new collection from their Open Dictionary is cute and fun though.

Several decent collections can be found among over 140 Quote Ring listings.
For purists, there's Bartlett's Familiar Quotations page, which includes chronological listings and word search. Plus more.

Useful Idioms
No, that's not an oxymoron! An accidental discovery, this is a neat page for word lovers.

Freedom of Speech

CyberTimes Communications Decency Act Homepage
NY Times Archives, Feb 96 - November 97
[Non-subscribers can register at http://www.nytimes.com]

Grammar & Syntax

11 Best Uses of Bad Grammar - From the Simpsons
This is juzf for fun, like the Marx Brothers on 'Sanity Clause' perhaps, very clever, and clearly very wrong (in terms of grammar, at least). Be careful not to imitate or you too might find yourself saying, 'Me fail English? That's unpossible!' (The Week)

Gallery of Misused Quotation Marks
Do you find it "annoying" when just about everything is "quoted"? Here's an award-winning site which feels your pain. It's a lovely gallery, too. :-)


Apostrophes are among the most abused of our beloved language symbols. Many have risen to defend apostrophes' proper use in English, among the pioneers Sue Palmer, who deserves credit for her early online resource now re-discovered (as archived in 2007) thanks to the Web Archives's Wayback Machine:

Home for Abused Apostrophes
A fervent call to respect the apostrophe. Part of a collection of pages illustrating words at work. Includes homage to SPELING MISTeaks as well as some serious essays on words. From Sue Palmer's Language Live pages.

In addition, two other organizations/pages have recently appeared to promote the proper care and use of the apostrophe:

A busy and bright blog devoted to Apostrophe Abuse, featuring images of recently-spotted signs, adverts, etc., which would seem to rebuke the very purpose of apostrophes, if not proper languageuse in general - and might bring a smile or frown along the way.

Apostrophe Protection Society
Finally! Help may be on the way! ;-) A new addition to the efforts, born July 2010. So far, a collection of (text) examples. [9/10]

How to Write Good
Funny and smart look at the fine art of writing gooder. [sic] By experts. :-)

Language & Meaning

"The etymology and history of first names". A look at the origins and meanings of first names, perhaps including yours. Fun and educational.

The Hip Manual
Not a guide to health insurance. A light-hearted look at cool, hip and slang in American English.
(How to Speak Hip, Audio from Skeyelab.)

Language & the Way We Think
A review of research into how our professions and experiences shape our daily use of language. (Fenichel)

As some of the personal sites dealing with specific aspects of linguistics and language have disappeared, I find one of the best general indexes is that which has grown huge within Wikipedia. At the risk of angering many teachers and librarians ["Students! Always cite additional reliable references beyond Wikipedia!"] I'd suggest this as a good starting point for anyone seriously looking for specific aspects of "language" and linguistics.


I knew this must be something special when several teens told me they are "addicted" to this site, self-described as a place to "unleash your imagination and free your soul". This increasingly popular site allows book-lovers to embellish or offer alternative possibilities for existing literary masterpieces, and/or to present original works of fiction.

A nice anthology, featuring the work and biography of literary figures from the Medieval, Renaissance, and 17th Century.


Advice to Young Poets (of all ages)
Classic quotes from history's great poets, a plea for lucid verse, and more. (Mark Worden)

My Own Poem, from Tiffany
A poignant poem about turning one's life around through effort and determination.

Sandee's Poetry in Motion
Reflections for the New Year. (A short poetic story and photograph)


Internet Anagram Server
Quick and cute diversion. Just type in a word or phrase and out pops a long list of anagrams. (Wordsmith)

Roget's Internet Thesaurus
I looked up "hard drive" in the search window, and one of the words it responded with was "painfulness"! Nicely presented, if not quite up-to-date.

WWWebster On-Line
The final word in spelling. Easy to use on-line dictionary & thesaurus from Merriam-Webster.

What are Palindromes?
Click on the link to find out.

Words of Wisdom
Great words of advice for young people. This "graduation speech" was (incorrectly) purported to be from Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. Sure gets a lot of visits thanks to StumbleUpon! -g-

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