When I was in third grade, my grandmother got me a big red copy of Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. That sucker saw some heavy duty use, but, by the time I reached college, I’d switched over to spell check. I don’t entirely rely on spell check, of course. It doesn’t handle a wide variety of words very well, and depending on what I’m writing, I may need to use slang, techno-babble, or flat out switch to another language for a few words. I depend on a huge file of bookmarks to help me check that I’m using words correctly.
Michael Moser, over at Daily Writing Tips, just posted a list that got saved to my bookmarks, which I want to share with all of you: The Yiddish Handbook. Michael has a great rundown on Yiddish words that have crept into English. It’s a specialty list that I would consider bookmarking.
Some other resources that I would recommend marking are the following: