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Cool Site: Ask Oxford

Thursday, November 10th, 2005 by | Filed Under: Cool Sites

Ask Oxford

As a writer I adore word sites. There is something just so appealing about quotes, stories, and new ways to use words or just the opportunity to learn new words and integrate them into my vocabulary and writing. I really like this site because of its witty quotes and interesting layout.

The main sections are in the middle of the page: Word of the Day, A Quote From, A Word From, Quote of the Week, and Ask the Experts. You can also navigate around the site by using the links near the top of the page in green: Ask the Experts, Better Writing, World of Words, Games, Global English, and Foreign Languages.

You can view this page in one of two ways. You’ll find the option underneath the top corner search engine. You can view either the UK version or the US version and get a different word of the day from each version. You may notice other slight differences. We’ll be in the US view.

This is a dictionary site as well. You can search the dictionary either using the search engine at top or the option below where you changed the view. Just put in the word you want to look up, click search, and off you go to dictionary heaven.

Below the search engine in the US version, you can do a Quick Quiz or a Crossword puzzle. I adore both and spent plenty of time there. And if you can’t get them all, you can always solve the puzzle by clicking solution. In the crossword section, there are other games you can play like the Oxford Word Challenge and Scrabble.

The Ask the Experts section has things like the FAQ, Jargon Buster, and Collective Terms for Animals. I love that there is an area devoted to the Collective Terms for Animals. I mean what do you call a bunch of hogs, for instance? Well, you call them a drove of hogs. Check this section out. It’s pretty neat and informative.

I fell in love with the Better Writing section. Even people with an excellent grasp on the English language can sometimes misuse a word. If in doubt about word usage, you can check out the section Spelling and Grammar Tricks. It’s set up in a search engine style.

World of Words has some history of words. My favorite part of this section is the Word a Year section, where you find out what words were chosen to represent a year. From 1904 to 2004 you’ll find a word. Makes you wonder what the word for 2005 will be!

The Global English section talks about the effect of having over 300 million people speaking the English language. From pronunciation to the effect that a person’s culture has on their language, you’ll discover the nuances here. Global English is standardized English that is spread by the internet and media. Pretty interesting stuff!

Foreign Languages has the French, German, Italian, and Spanish dictionary information. There is also a foreign quote of the week and a featured book!

I find this site to be a definite keeper for my Favorites folder. If it were a paperback dictionary, some of the pages would be dog-eared and worn out by how much I’ve already used it.

~ Amanda

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