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Monday
Dec032012

Word of the Day Got you Stumped?

Are you ever stuck for a Word-of-the-Day for your Toastmasters meeting or do you just love words so much that you would like a daily dose? Well, we found some word-of-the-day Web sites that might interest you!

Each site presents different amounts of information, different ways of presenting it, and different features. We listed them from most preferred to least preferred.

  

Selecting a Word

When selecting a Word-of-the-Day for your meeting, try to use words that are:

  • related to:
    • the theme
    • the time of year
    • local cultural events
    • holidays
    • speech project or topic
    • current events (in the news)
  • possible that people will continue using them
  • perhaps common, but often misused

 

It makes it appear more like serendipity without being histrionic?

  

WordSmith.org

URL: http://wordsmith.org/awad/index.html

Words are stored by date, back to 1994 and by word, so you can easily link to them.

http://wordsmith.org/words/forte.html

http://wordsmith.org/words/newspeak.html

E-mail newsletter: Yes, daily. Recommended by the New York Times as "The most welcomed, most enduring piece of daily mass e-mail in cyberspace."

Site Search: Yes, http://wordsmith.org/awad/search.html

What's really sweet about this site is that for each word, you get a lot of information:

  • pronunciation
  • meaning
  • entymology (origin)
  • notes
  • usage

For Toastmasters, this information is perfect for presenting the Word-of-the-Day.

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OneLook

URL: http://www.onelook.com/wotd.shtml

Words are stored by word, example:

http://www.onelook.com/?w=yarmulka&loc=wotd

The Archive is very simple and goes back to 2003.

E-mail newsletter: No

Site Search feature: No

Other: They offer five words per hour! They enable you to embed their word of the day engine on your web site. We did!

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WordThink

URL: http://www.wordthink.com/

Words are stored by word, so you can easily link to them:

http://www.wordthink.com/histrionic/

http://www.wordthink.com/sagacious/

There is an archive, with 7 words per page

E-mail newsletter: No

Site Search feature: No

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Merriam-Webster

URL: http://www.merriam-webster.com/word-of-the-day/

Words are stored by date, so it is difficult to link to particular words.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/word-of-the-day/2012/11/01/

http://www.merriam-webster.com/word-of-the-day/2012/11/06/

You can easily search the Archive page for previous words, back to the start of the current calendar year.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/word/archive.php

E-mail newsletter: Yes, daily

Site Search feature: No

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Dictionary.Reference.com

URL: http://dictionary.reference.com/wordoftheday/

It seems that words are available for "today" only.

There is no archive.

E-mail newsletter: Yes, daily

Site Search: Search is for the entire site, not specific to word-of-the-day.

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New York Times

URL: http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/category/word-of-the-day/

Words are stored by date and by word, but not in a way that is easily linkable:

http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/03/word-of-the-day-relic/

There is no archive, per se. Each word is a separate blog post, so you can go back by clicking through the blog posts

E-mail newsletter: No

Site Search: Search is for the entire blog, not specific to word-of-the-day, but the Word of the Day entries seem to appear on page one of the search results.

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A Tip on Searching

If a particular site doesn't have a Search feature, you can still search using a Domain or Site search in Google. For example, if you want to find the word "sagacious" at WordThink.com, go to Google and enter the following on the search line:

sagacious site:wordthink.com

The first search result (as of this writing) will be from Dictionary.com. The second search result will be from WordThink.com.

Craig Senior

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