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:
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"
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 www.gutenberg.org 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
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.
Dictionary.com, 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)
Yourdictionary.com . 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
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
AlphaDictionary.com - multilingual dictionary: type a word and choose from 16 languages
*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
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
* 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
http://the-tech.mit.edu/Shakespeare/ (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
Literaturepost.com - Google <site:literaturepost.com> to search texts
Making of America - many books & journals of mid-1800s
Amazon.com: 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
http://tinyurl.com/nv8skg or http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/modeng/
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