alphaDictionary.com. Warning: don’t go there unless you have a strong willpower or nothing to do. You will get happily lost among pages and pages of information – some serious, some fun. You can practice International Tongue Twisters, check out the Glossary of Useless Latin Phrases or a list of more than 250 words that speakers and writers of English often confuse (false cognates).
The following entry is from The Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce (1911):
Once Law was sitting on the bench,
And Mercy knelt a-weeping.
"Clear out!" he cried,"disordered wench!
Nor come before me creeping.
Upon your knees if you appear,
'Tis plain your have no standing here."
Then Justice came. His Honor cried:
"Your status?—devil seize you!"
"Amica curiae," she replied—
"Friend of the court, so please you."
"Begone!" he shouted—"there's the door—
I never saw your face before!"
The Word Detective. This is an online version of a newspaper column that answers readers’ questions about words and language. It is informative and humorous at the same time.
Grammar Girl’s Quick & Dirty Tips for Better Writing. It is a free podcast. Five minutes of grammar a day keeps grammar snobs away. (Actually, the podcast is about once a week.)
OneLook dictionary. I like its reverse dictionary feature. If you describe a concept in a few words, a sentence, or a question, you will receive a list of related terms. Using this feature, you can even cheat on crossword puzzles by typing in some letters and wildcards.
Multilingual Legal Glossary from Vancouver Community College. You enter an English term, choose a target language and get the equivalent term in that language with the plain language definition and a list of related words. The languages offered are Chinese (Simplified), Farsi, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, Vietnamese.
An English Pronouncing Dictionary with Instant Sound. You enter a word and listen to its proper pronunciation.
The Visual Thesaurus. It is an interactive dictionary and thesaurus. You type in a word and get a visual representation of related words and concepts. Roll over a term on the word map to see its definition and examples of usage. You can also listen to an American or British pronunciation of a word. You can try a few words for free but to use it continuously, you need to buy the program or subscribe to the service.
Pseudodictionary. A dictionary of words that can’t make it to other dictionaries yet: concocted words, slang, web-speak, colloquialisms. Try typing in the word “law” and see what comes up.
The Ridiculous Business Jargon Dictionary. This one is a dictionary of business jargon that you don’t want to use.
A list of law-related dictionaries at alphaDictionary.com. It offers brief descriptions and links to various online dictionaries, such as Plain English Dictionary or Legal Terms or Harvard Law School One-L Dictionary.
Generators of silliness:
Official Seal Generator. This site will help you generate an official seal, like the one you see in this post.
The Advertising Slogan Generator. “The Law is Mightier than the Sword.” That’s what I got when I typed in “law.”
Post-It Note Generator. As the name suggests, it generates post-it notes when you enter the text.
Buzzomatic Memo Writer from alphaDictionary. If you don't like to write, let your computer do it for you. You will create some buzz.
Image Chef. You choose a template, enter your message and get a customized image.
OK… enough of fun. It’s time to go about my serious business.