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Intro B: Useful Web Sites for AUE Participants

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Subject: Intro B: Useful Web Sites for AUE Participants

                                Last Revised 2011-08-27 (27 Aug 2011)
                               * = recently revised, including deletions

Contents -- Intro B: Useful Web Sites for AUE Participants

  - Where to find previous postings
  - Where to learn about ASCII IPA
  - Learning English as a Foreign Language
  - Audio Archives & Phonetics
  - Word lists
* - Dictionaries, On-line: General
  - Dictionaries, On-line: Historical and Special Purpose
  - Acronyms and abbreviations
* - Words and language
* - Grammar: Frequently Requested Topics
  - Writing and Grammar Guides On Line
  - Encyclopedias & Search Engines
  - British English; Scots
  - Black English (African-American Vernacular English, Ebonics)
  - Historical English, and English Literature

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Where to find previous postings
If you suspect your topic has already been discussed, even though it is
not in the FAQ, please check for articles, following the appropriate
search guidelines, at the Google Usenet archive, which holds articles
since approximately 1991:

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Where to learn about ASCII IPA
ASCII IPA is a way of expressing pronunciation on Usenet. It is a
version of the International Phonetic Alphabet, using only the ASCII
symbols (basic keyboard characters). There's a guide to ASCII IPA,
including illustrative sound files, at

A detailed specification of the ASCII IPA transcriptions scheme,
including tables showing the mapping to and from IPA characters,
can be found at

See also "Audio Archives"

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Learning English as a Foreign Language
Good entry points to the many resources on the Web are:

English as a Second Language

Dave's ESL Cafe

English as 2nd Language

ESL Resources at Purdue University - covers common grammar issues - The Comprehensive ESL Site

Paltalk chat room on "English Usage and Grammar" - listen and speak.

VOA's Special English - easy-to-read articles and sound files, too

BBC Learning English

Ask About English - new words, Q&A, resources

See also "Writing and Grammar Guides On Line," below.

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Audio Archives & Phonetics
Three pages at the AUE Website with speech files and links to more:
  The a.u.e Audio Archive -- listen to speakers with varying accents
  Other Sound files
  Audio References - more links to useful sound files

British Library archive of English accents, esp. Northern England:

BBC Voices, collection of UK speech

IDEA, the International Dialects of English Archive -- Large collection
of MP3 speech files from around the world.

Fonetiks -- sound clips of 6 kinds of English plus 9 other languages

Voice of America Pronunciation Guide - Soundfiles of proper names

University of Lausanne Phonetics Course -- pronouncing sounds

Speech Accent Archives

IPA Handbook, Univ. of Victoria - sound files for many languages

ESL Cyber Listening Lab -- 100+ conversations with practice exercises.

Phonetics site made by University of Iowa

UCLA Phonetics Lab -- A Course in Phonetics

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Word lists
Brian Kelk maintains a Web page with pointers to numerous wordlists on
the net - for UK English, US English and other languages. Many are bare
lists of words but some have other info. There is also information on
word and letter frequency and on phonetic alphabets (Alpha Bravo).

The Moby Project has large downloadable lists of words:  Hyphenator,
5-Language, Parts-of-Speech, Pronunciator (American), Shakespeare,
Thesaurus, and American Words.Available at or

National Puzzlers' League: "Our Collected Wordlists" & related

Bookmarks for Corpus-based Linguists - links to word lists, archives and tools

Webster's Second Edition (1934) list of over 200,000 words

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On-line dictionaries: General
Please look up simple questions of meaning and origin in a dictionary
before posting to the group. There are now several large, recent
dictionaries on-line to choose from.

Merriam-Webster Collegiate, 10th Edition, 1994. With US pronunciations.

* Concise Oxford Dictionary

Collins Dictionary Lookup, plus related features

Onelook, which searches over 500 dictionaries at a single stroke., based on the American Heritage Dictionary

Cambridge International Dictionary, also Idioms & Phrasal Verbs

Encarta World English Dictionary

Random House Webster's College Dictionary (no etymology) . A single lookup provides definition, synonyms, and usage examples.

Word Net - includes "X is a kind of..." and "X consists of..."

Hyperdictionary -- accesses WordNet and other dictionaries

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On-line dictionaries: Historical and Special Purpose

Webster's 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language

Webster's 1913 Revised Unabridged Dictionary

The Century Dictionary, 1914 (12 volumes scanned):

The Oxford English Dictionary is available for a subscription fee:

Hobson-Jobson: Anglo-Indian Glossary, 1903

The Jargon Lexicon, the Jargon File or New Hacker's Dictionary -
computer and hi-tech terms. Various copies on line including:

Online Etymology Dictionary -- includes many placenames

Slang dictionaries on the Web - Marius Hancu's list is here:

Urban Dictionary - slang defined by the general public - multilingual dictionary: type a word and choose from 16 languages

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*Acronyms and abbreviations
Onelook (above) finds many initialisms. Two other searchable databases:

* The Internet Acronym Server, by Silmaril

Acronym Finder

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* Words and language

Looking for the origin of a colorful expression? The a.u.e webmaster has
arranged a combined link to the indexes of many of the sites below.
Enter your word once at the AUE Website Search field and get links to
each place the term is discussed.

The Maven's Word of the Day (formerly Jesse's)
Large archive of dictionary editor answers to word questions.

Common Errors in English -- Tips on hundreds of confusing words and
pairs such as affect/effect, adapt/adopt, advice/advise, etc.

Michael Quinion, World Wide Words -- Discusses new words and the
reappearance of old ones. Q&A section.

Evan Morris, The Word Detective -- Answers questions on origins of
colorful words and phrases. Large archive.

John Lawler -- A linguistics professor gives masterful explanations of
how language really works

sci.lang FAQ -- language and linguistics questions commonly asked

Take Our Word -- the Weekly Word-origin Webzine - Dave Wilton's Etymology Page

Sharp Points by Bill Walsh -- real-life copy editing dilemmas

Atlas of North American English -- Maps and articles on regional
dialects in the US. Knowledge of basic linguistics advised.

* Dialect Survey Maps and Results - Over 100 US regionalisms

Word2Word -- links to dictionaries, translators, language sites, etc.

Fun with Words -- unusual words, lists of oddities, etc.

Word Ways: The Journal of Recreational Linguistics

Double-Tongued Word Wrester -- definitions, citations of modern words

Science Fiction Citation Project - Help OED find words in SF literature

The Big Apple - history of words from New York City

American Dialect Society ListServ - discusses words, phrases, etc.

Australian Word Map - shows regionalisms

LinguaFranca - radio show about language. Read or listen (or both!)

After Deadline - NY Times columns on grammar & style

Karen Chung's Language and Linguistics Links

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Grammar: Frequently Requested Topics

* Adjective order ("a small brown wooden house")

Agreement of subject & verb. Singular/plurals.(Use "Next" & links)

Conditionals ("if I would...")

Conjugate any English verb; other languages, too - at Verbix

Diagramming sentences

Phrasal Verbs, separable & inseparable (see also linked list)

Place Names with their adjectives (-an, -ian, -ese, etc.)

Tenses in English -- learn "progressive," "continuous," etc.

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Writing and Grammar Guides On Line

Guide to Grammar and Writing, by Charles Darling

Online English Grammar

Grammar and Style Notes by Jack Lynch

Handbook of Style, by Merriam-Webster, Inc.

The Online English Grammar, by Anthony Hughes

The Guardian Style Guide (British newspaper):

Bartleby -- US style guides: American Heritage Book of English
Usage, Columbia Guide to Standard American English (1993) and Strunk's
Elements of Style (1916). Also, UK: Fowler, The King's English, 1908.

Chicago Manual of Style: FAQ and index (not the manual itself)

English Style Guide -- recommendations from the European Commission

US Government Printing Office Style Manual

The Internet Grammar of English: modern grammar (word classes, etc.)

The Online Writing Lab at Purdue University

APA Style Tips - for academic writing, bibliographies, etc.

The Plain English Campaign: guides to writing letters, reports, etc.

Garbl's Writing Resources On Line:
A descriptive list of links about writing, and a style manual

Yahoo! Grammar & Usage -- A long list of sites.

Grammar resources, listed at "English as a Second Language" website

The Writing Center, advice on academic writing

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*Encyclopedias & Search Engines

Sometimes, language questions are tied closely to history, science,
geography, and other factual matters.

* Wikipedia is where many look first, but be wary of errors

InfoPlease - encyclopedia, almanac, atlas, more

* Biographical Dictionary - an excellent quick reference

Dictionary of Famous People

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British English; Scots

The American-British British-American Dictionary

Estuary English - recent developments in southern England

The Best of British

English slang and colloquialisms used in the United Kingdom

Scotsgate - info, dictionaries, links on Lowlands Scots

Dictionary of the Scots Language - site combines two large dictionaries

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Black English (African-American Vernacular English, Ebonics)

African American Vernacular English (Ebonics) by Jack Sidnell

The Center for Applied Linguistics: Ebonics Information Page

John Lawler on Ebonics: a statement by linguists, bibliography & links:

African-American History and Culture

Characteristic Features of AAVE

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* Historical English, and English Literature

Word Safari: Megalist of Word Links -- History Section:
A good starting point with links to a number of sites on the
development, grammar, pronunciation, and literature of Old English or
Anglo-Saxon (example, Beowulf) and Middle English (example, Chaucer).

Da Engliscan Gesidas - Anglo-Saxon (Old English). Includes sound files.

I have not yet found a good site about "Early Modern English," but you
can use these two sites to search for your own usage examples:

Search Shakespeare sites   (search single plays only)

Bible Gateway - Search the Bible (King James and other versions)

"Thou, Thee & Archaic Grammar" -- a brief overview by AUE members:

Sites for "Modern English" literature from 1700-2000:

Bibliomania - search many classic novels and essays simultaneously

Search E-Books - another literature search - Google <> to search texts

Making of America - many books & journals of mid-1800s Books / Search Inside the Book -- search text of new books!

The On-Line Books Page -- thousands of works of literature that are
available for free download & search. Includes Project Gutenberg titles.

Google Books - large number of scanned books, although erratic quality

University Of Virginia's Modern English Collection -- electronic texts searchable by year            or

Schulers Books Online

* The Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA) - Search word use from 1990-on.


This series of seven "Intro Documents" is intended to aid newcomers to
the newsgroup. The articles are posted frequently in the newsgroup
and are installed at this Web site for your convenience, along with
a menu of links to the seven Intro documents.

At this site's home page you will find links to other helpful
information, including the FAQ.

Comments and corrections to these Intro documents should be emailed to
me. -- Donna Richoux
Intros: << Previous Contents A B C D E F G Next >> Top