Greetings, noble scribes! I interrupt the regularly scheduled Word Arsenal programming with news of the greatest significance. In my relentless and fevered pursuit of le mot juste, my epic and endless peregrinations over the vast wasteland of interweb hooey, I have stumbled onto a tool that threatens to tip the scales of balance in our ongoing war. I daresay it could make poets of us all!
A dictionary is only as useful as what you ask it–but what if you don’t know what to ask?
How often, dear diligent scribbler, have you wrinkled your face at the screen while grasping for a word that fits your intent? You know what you want it to mean, that elusive, slippery eel of a word, but you just can’t reel it in. You feel its presence out there in the ether, wriggling its tail and taunting you–I exist! I exist! You just can’t find me! You cast your net in the search engine–What is the word that describes the sound of rain falling on the roof?–but what comes back is inane gibberish from Yahoo and Ask.com about how to patch a leaky roof. You plunge, googling, into the plethora of anemic online dictionaries, rooting through slush-piles of synonyms. But no. The word slithers and writhes away with impunity, and so, defeated, you grab your spackle and patch the cracks of your poor, imperfect sentence.
And is it any wonder? We’re going about it all wrong, you see – like neanderthals trying to burn down a forest to cook a single deer.
Hark! There is another way! I tell you I have seen it, tasted of its delights, and oh! how easy it is to pick those juicy plums!
I give you:
Brilliant. You type in the definitions, or impressions, or related words–whatever you’ve got–and it gives you back your plums. Click on a plum and it takes you to a brief definition as well as links to a dozen other dictionaries all in one place.
As if that weren’t enough, the Oracle of OneLook has an advanced standard dictionary engine as well which lets you refine your results with a variety of ingenious filters.
Go see for yourself, you pioneers of perfect prose, and let me know in the comments how it works for you.
Back to your regularly scheduled programming