Monthly Archives: January 2013

Do You Have a Favorite Dictionary and Thesaurus Web Site?

I’ve been writing and editing for many years, and I always have a dictionary and thesaurus by my side. In the “old” days, these were hard copy books. When I first moved to the online world, I kept these books beside me – and often I had at least two dictionaries.

Favorite Dictionary Site

screen shot of page from onelook.com, word searched was audio

But a couple years back, I discovered I could have hundreds of dictionaries by my side if I visited OneLook Dictionary Search. According to their web site, “More than 5 million words in more than 1000 online dictionaries are indexed by the OneLook® search engine.” These dictionaries are broken down by type. For this example, I searched on the word audio. In addition to the three dictionary types displayed in this screen shot, four others were retrieved: Computing, Medicine, Slang, and Tech – for a total of 43 dictionaries. Easy enough to access these dictionaries by clicking on the links. Very nice!

Favorite Thesaurus Site

And, my favorite thesaurus site is Thesaurus.com. Type a word in the search box and, as is true in many thesauri, results are broken down by definition, and each definition contains synonyms and antonyms.

thesaurus2

Clicking a definition, synonym, or antonym, displays its page in thesaurus.com – and there you are with more entries.

Or, scroll down to see some sample sentences and a visual thesaurus. If you find this type of word mapping helpful, you may want to purchase a subscription. Click one of the words to connect to the Visual Thesaurus page.

OneLook Dictionary Search includes a reverse dictionary where you can describe a concept and a list of words are returned to you. Thesaurus.com incorporates other perks, including a daily crossword puzzle and a crossword solver! And something the old hard copies just couldn’t do: both sites include audio pronunciation. Now that’s a really great eLearning eLement!

A Narration eLearning eLement

If you narrate content as part of your eLearning development, then you know that a good quality microphone is an essential eLearning eLement.

I’ve been really pleased with the Samson USB C01U microphone I’ve been using for a few years now. It has great sound quality. And if you purchase the C01U Pak, like I did, you’ll get a microphone stand, shockmount, and USB cable all inside a nice little suitcase. This makes it easy to bring the mic with you if you travel a lot, like I do.

Still, sometimes it’s tough to squeeze one more thing in during travel, so I was intrigued when I read about the Samson Go Mic in an older blog post by Tom Kuhlmann, Vice President of the Articulate® Community. Talk about portable! Take a look.

photo of Samson Go Mic

It’s really amazing what great sound quality Samson has been able to achieve with this mic. And, as described at the Samson page, it can sit on your desk or you can take advantage of the great design that allows you to clip it to your laptop. You can flip a switch on the side of the mic to change recording modes. Like the C01U, it comes with its own USB cord and carrying case – but a MUCH smaller zipped case.

If you don’t want to take my word for it, check out Tom’s video here. He narrated the content using the Go To Mic. I guess I could’ve done the same, but why reinvent the wheel, right?