How does one find a word with a rhyming middle syllable?

In conversation today I wanted to find a set of words that have an “or” sound in their middles, as in “torrent” and “sorcerer”. I couldn’t find one. Most rhyming dictionaries I found only concerned themselves with the last syllable. I think that part of the problem is that I’m not aware of the correct … Read more

Resources describing Somerset English

Can anyone suggest any good resources describing the grammar of traditional Somerset English (not accented standard English)? The Wikipedia article for the West Country dialects provides a good introduction, but I am looking for sources that go into greater depth regarding the grammatical differences between Somerset and standard English. Answer The first two books on … Read more

Count vs. mass — where can you look this up?

Most dictionaries don’t say whether a noun is count vs. mass. Short of asking a fluent English speaker, where can you get this kind of information? I’ve tried asking various other ESL/EFL people I know this same question, and also tried googling it, but to no avail. Answer Most English dictionaries used and published in … Read more

Does and online repository exist for texts written in African American English / ‘Ebonics’?

I wonder whether I can find a work of literature in AAE somewhere? I mean not citations of conversations or songs etc, but a full-fledged story or novel or technical text. Answer Similar to how there are no online indicies for literary works written in cockney, ‘appalachian’ dialect, or even the Southern USA dialect, probably … Read more

Order of definitions in dictionaries

Are dictionary definitions for words with multiple meanings ordered based on chronology, hierarchy, or frequency of usage? Is/was there a standard format? Answer It depends on the dictionary. Some, perhaps most, place the most common use of the word first. The Oxford English Dictionary, ‘the definitive record of the English language’, places its definitions in … Read more

Proper usage of pronouns

As an ESL student, sometimes I wonder whether I use too many pronouns. For example: She grabbed her purse, she took some money and then she went to buy some groceries. After that she returned happily with a lot of things she bought. Can it be changed to something like this? She grabbed her purse, … Read more

Good online thesaurus?

Does anyone know of a good online thesaurus? I’ve used and Especially something that’s good with phrases, figures of speech or idioms. Answer Check out few informative resources on thesaurus: Collins Dictionary Macmillan dictionary: Babylon thesaurus: Thesaurus on Yahoo Education: Wordnik (suggested by Carlo_R) Visual Thesaurus: It is one of amazing things. … Read more

What public domain thesauruses are available?

Possible Duplicate: English synonym online database? I am working on a project which needs access to the database of a English synonyms, preferably as a raw text file. Are there any public domain, open source, or similarly licensed thesauruses which have a downloadable database and in a simple syntax. Answer How about OpenThesaurus? OpenThesaurus is … Read more