A rare find

My writing buddy turned me on to this, and for that, I’ll be ever grateful.

How many writers have trouble coming up with just the right word when they’re writing? Most of us, I’ll bet.

For some, the easy thing is to right-click in Microsoft Word and browse through the suggested synonym list, then pick one. Others prefer a thesaurus, but sad to say, that sounds too much like a dinosaur for me to be comfortable with it!

Dictionary.com is one of my favorite “go-to” sites online; I can usually find the spelling, pronunciation, and definition of whatever I’m looking for there. But my all-time favorite resource is a huge crossword puzzle dictionary!

I’m one of those weird people who can spend lots of time browsing through this tome. You wouldn’t think a crossword puzzle dictionary would help you do anything but crosswords; you’d be wrong! This beast has more than 300,000 words, a veritable potpourri for writers and would-be writers!

Organized alphabetically, my crossword puzzle dictionary by Merriam-Webster contains no pronunciations or word origins; rather, it features gobs of synonyms — and yes, crossword puzzle clues. No problem with that — how many writers do you know who don’t love a good crossword puzzle??

Oh, and it even lists the Academy Award winners, various seaports, NFL teams, constellations, Nobel Prize winners, world cities, authors, and more. Sure, I could probably access all this online, but I find it reassuring to have a guidebook beside me when I write, a reference I can pick up, look through, and even smell.

There’s nothing like “old-book smell,” don’t you agree?

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