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Word Links
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PLEASE NOTE: I am happily retired in Port Townsend, Washington. I have deactivated Garbl's Writing Resources and am no longer adding, revising, or updating writing resources in this section or any other section.. But please continue to visit and use my free Editorial Style and Usage Manual, Consise Writing Guide and Plain English Writing Guide. I update their content occasionally.

Garbl's Word Links is an annotated directory of websites that can help you discover, understand and use (or avoid) Latin and Greek derivations, misused words, unusual words, word origins, new words and slang. You'll also find separate sections below on spelling and vocabulary.

Words can and do break bones--Gary B. Larson, Seattle, Washington, April 23, 1999.
Personal commentary on verbal abuse and the misuse of language.

Dictionary of Concise WritingGarbl's Editorial Style and Usage Manual--This style guide can help answer your writing questions about abbreviations, capitalization, grammar, numbers, organization terminology, punctuation, spelling and word usage. The Concise Writing Guide provides simpler alternatives to wordy, verbose, overstated or pompous words and phrases.

line Banished Words List--Lake Superior State University, Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.

"Words and phrases banished from the Queen's English for Mis-, Mal- or Over-Use, as well as General Uselessness"

bullet Borrowed Words in the English Language--Kryss Katsiavriades, contract computer analyst and programmer with a software consultancy in London.

The site title says it all, covering languages from Algonquin to Zuni.

bullet Earliest Known Uses of Some Words of Mathematics--Jeff Miller, math teacher at Gulf High School in New Port Richey, Florida

As the page title says... complete with well-documented sources.

bullet Lexical FreeNet--Doug Beeferman, a graduate student (now on leave and working at Lycos) in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

As a combination thesaurus, rhyming dictionary, pun generator and concept navigator, this site enables you to search for relationships between words, concepts and people.

bullet The Nautical Origins of Some Common Expressions--Bill Graf, Fort Ogden Design, internet page design

From "a square meal" to "the whole nine yards" to " garbled ": Garbling was the prohibited practice of mixing rubbish with the cargo. A distorted, mixed up message was said to be garbled--until this website sailed in !

bullet The Online Slang Dictionary--Walter Rader

A well-organized, easy-to-use, alphabetical list of English slang.

bullet Standard English words [that] have a Scandinavian Etymology--The Viking Network, Wigo H. Skramm, project director, Fetsund, Norway

A long list of standard English words that describe actions or the states of things--with the source or the present-day associations.

bullet Wilton's Word & Phrase Origins --David R. Wilton, Albany, California.

A site devoted to origins of words and slang phrases.

Word Detective
bullet The Word Detective--Online version of a newspaper column by Evan Morris, author of The Book Lover's Guide to the Internet (1998). Morris' collection of Word Detective columns is available through my association with

Answers to readers' questions about words and language.

bullet The Word Wizard--Rufus Miles in the United Kingdom.

Answers your questions about word derivations and offers a selection of new words, slang meanings, snappy quotations and elegant insults.

bullet World Wide Words--Michael Quinion, British editor for the Oxford Dictionary and New Words columnist for the Daily Telegraph .

More than 400 pages on the history, origins, evolution and idiosyncrasies of English, regularly featuring new words and words in the news.

Creativity | Writing Process | Grammar | Style and Usage | Reference Sources | Words |Fat-Free Writing |Plain Language | Action Writing | Word Play

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bullet Absolutely Ridiculous English Spelling--Mikie Metric Productions, Williamsport, Pennsylvania

Spelling rules, memory tricks, examples and charts covering the nearly trackless jungle of ridiculous English spelling.

bullet Everyday Spelling--Scott Foresman-Addison Wesley Educational Publishers Inc.

For students in grades one through eight, this site includes a new spelling puzzle and word every week and the 25 most frequently misspelled words and spelling strategies for each grade.

bullet Free Spelling Course--Marie Rackham, retired public school English teacher, Campbell River, British Columbia, Canada

Thirty-unit course includes weekly work plan, pre-tests, exercises, dictation sentences, final tests, answer key and bonus unit on the rules of spelling.

bullet Some Rules and Suggestions about Spelling--Charles Darling, professor of English/humanities, Capital Community-Technical College, Hartford, Connecticut. 

Suggestions cover using spell-checkers, dictionaries and mnemonics; homonyms and plurals; "sounding it out"; British spellings; five specific rules; and several quizzes.

bullet Spelling: Common Words that Sound Alike--Purdue University Online Writing Lab, West Lafayette, Indiana

This resource covers common spelling errors including accept/except, ei/ie, noun plurals, and -ible/able.

bullet Spelling--Dorothy Turner, Writing Centre, University of Ottawa

Focuses on four standard spelling rules: words with "ei" and "ie," words with a final "y" before a suffix, words with a final silent "e" and words with double consonants.

bullet Spelling it Right--Learn to Spell Confidently--Roger Smith, a retired English and media studies teacher at a north England comprehensive school

More than 150 pages of advice on tackling spelling problems and worksheet exercises, each comprising a complete lesson designed to improve spelling skills.

bullet SpellWeb--Steve Nelson, Clear Ink Corp., website developer, Walnut Creek, California

Not sure which spelling is right? Enter both versions, and let the web decide, using the Infoseek, Excite and FAST search engines

Creativity | Writing Process | Grammar | Style and Usage | Reference Sources | Words |Fat-Free Writing |Plain Language | Action Writing | Word Play

Home ] [ Writing Resources Home ] [ Style Manual ] [ Plain English Guide ] [ Concise Writing Guide ] [ Writing Bookshelf ] [ What's New ]


bullet The Ten Best Vocabulary Learning Tips--Sheppard Software, Jenkintown, Pennsylvania

Explains tips ranging from "Read, Read, Read!" to "Use mnemonics" to "Get excited about words!"

bullet A.Word.A.Day--Anu Garg, internet engineer for AT&T Labs.

Website for the free AWAD mailing list that sends a vocabulary word and its definition to subscribers every day.


bullet Word Safari--Ruth M. Pettis, designer and proofreader in Seattle, Washington

A playful approach to vocabulary acquisition, launching users on web surfing expeditions to see how the featured words and expressions are used in context.

Creativity | Writing Process | Grammar | Style and Usage | Reference Sources | Words |Fat-Free Writing |Plain Language | Action Writing | Word Play

Home ] [ Writing Resources Home ] [ Style Manual ] [ Plain English Guide ] [ Concise Writing Guide ] [ Writing Bookshelf ] [ What's New ]

Created by Gary B. Larson of Port Townsend, Washington,

Updated March 5, 2016.