Links and Stuff

Links to editing articles, blog posts, resources, and other interesting material

Online dictionaries, thesauruses, vocabularies

“For the writer—any kind of writer—the dictionary is an indispensable resource. No matter how extensive vocabulary the writer may have, no matter how skilled he may be in selection of words, there is always the likelihood that use of the dictionary may sharpen his discrimination in the use of words, may supply him with a synonym better than his first choice, or may even open up a new line of thought.”—Edward N. Teall, Putting Words to Work 78–79 (1940).

Merriam-Webster Collegiate
(pronunciations, examples, thesaurus)

American Heritage, 4th ed
Wiktionary / WordNet 3.0
Century Dictionary & Cyclopedia
Roget’s Thesaurus
(pronunciations, examples, thesaurus)

American Heritage, 5th ed

Webster’s New World College
American Heritage, 5th ed
English Wiktionary

American Heritage, 5th ed
Collins English Dictionary
Random House K. Webster
Cambridge Dictionary of Idioms
An excellent thesaurus as well

(Has British, American English)

Cambridge Dictionary
(Has British, American English)

Oxford Dictionaries
(Has British, American English)

Random House Dictionary
Collins English Dictionary
Online Etymology Dictionary

Longman Dictionary Contemp. English

Word Spy
(new words)

Green’s Dictionary of Slang

Urban Dictionary
(slang, crowdsourced)

Double-tongued dictionary
New words and fringe English

One Look (1000 dictionaries)

Computer Desktop Dictionary

Financial Times
(business and financial terms)

(business and financial terms)

Nolo’s Plain English Law Dictionary

Wex Legal Dictionary

Getty Vocabularies
(art, artists, architecture, geographic names)

(thesaurus and word finder)

Howjsay (pronunciations)

Forvo (only pronunciations)


Interested in words? Try these “word of the day” emails:
      Oxford English Dictionary

ACES conference handouts and resources
While this material is available freely to you, you may not reuse these materials, in any form, without the consent of ACES and the authors.


To keep up with editing news, I've been using, a content curation program, for the last four or five years. It let me gather posts on topics such as proofreading and editing, evaluate them, and add comments on them. You can visit my page here.

Now, however, the free version of has restricted me to 50 articles, much less than the 1300 I've posted. And the premium version is $14 a month, which is more than I'm willing to pay. So I'm going to go back to posting links and commentary here under "Monthly Updates," and as I add links at the top, I'll delete older ones from the bottom. The five years or articles on remain as an archive for the time being.

Estimating job times (for editors)
Years ago, someone on the Copyediting-L discussion list posted the following formula for estimating the amount of time required to edit a manuscript, and I’ve found that it works fairly well:
    1. Choose a short sample from within the manuscript.
    2. Edit it, and calculate your words/hour or pages/hour from that for your first read.
    3. Add 50% for your second read.
    4. Add 10% to 15% for odds and ends of work.
    5. You now have your total time estimate and can set a fee accordingly.

Test yourself

Monthly Updates:

April 2018
Word wars: The battle between American and British English. From THE PRODIGAL TONGUE: The Love-Hate Relationship between American and British English by Lynne Murphy

Would you like fries (proofreading) with that? A tip from Copyediting

What to do when someone asks you (an editor), “What’s your rate?”

Grammar Girl with helpful advice on lay vs. lie.

Is there enough? I’ve often been asked this question by folks trying to get into editing, proofreading and/or book indexing. It also applies to starting almost any business or looking for a job, of course. It’s not a question of “enough.” It’s a question of finding your match.

May 2018

From ACES 2018: How to grow your freelance business: Three editors share their financial strategies

Negotiating and delivering bad news with grace—advice from Laura Poole

A nice post from Adrienne Montgomerie: 10 Actions That Combat Imposter Syndrome 

A helpful article on end-of-line hyphenation by Andy Hollandbeck at Copyediting.

Historical-fantasy novelist Guy Gavriel Kay on the slow process of editing his work: an author talks about working with his editor.

Brianne Hughes talks about The Cybersecurity Style Guide. Interesting to see how it all came together. It’s an immense amount of work (I put together a small style guide once).

Recommended: Chicago Style Workout 25: Numerals versus Words

When to Capitalize ‘Mom’ and Other Nicknames and Terms of Endearment (from Grammar Girl)

20 Truths from 20 Years of Editing” by Adrienne Montgomery. Great!

Why Copyeditors Should Pitch a Flat Fee (Part 4 of a series, with links to the other parts), by Jeanette Fast Redmond

June 2018
A nice article showing how it’s done: “How to Copyedit The Atlantic

Editorial creativity and advice on how to build it. Wish I had more time to do so.

Writing tactful apology letters to clients

The capitalization of appositive titles. Good article. I have more trouble with appositive commas, though.

Grammar Girl on ‘Aggravate’ or ‘Irritate’? Better check your style guide.

Going off road: what to do when you can’t look up a question

December 2013

A good infographic on grammar mistakes: The Top 10 Grammar Mistakes to Avoid Making.

Customers pay attention to the little things: another study of how typos and bad grammar can affect a company's credibility.

November 2013

It's yearly list time. Here are "The 15 Most Overused Business Words of 2013."

I'm reading APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur--How to Publish a Book, by Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch. It's a great book for self-publishers, and a very useful one for editors who work with self-publishers.

An interesting look at the most popular words and phrases of 2013, according to Global Language Monitor.

Helpful article from Writer’s Digest:10 Things Your Freelance Editor Might Not Tell You—But Should

Hand signals to avoid on cover artwork.

A helpful Word macro to find those pesky duplicate words that the eye is prone to miss.

October 2013

An editor comments on the scourge of the typo.

A good post from Carol Fisher Saller: What Copyeditors Can Learn Online (Maybe Not What You Think).

Jesus misspelled, and other famous typos.

September 2013

Grammarphobia examines “different to,” “different than,” and “different from.”

August 2013

Counsel on “this this” and “that that” from Grammarphobia.

From the Yahoo! Style Guide on the value of proofreading on the Web: Error-free content underscores your site’s credibility. The Web Credibility Project at the Stanford University Persuasive Technology Lab found that typographical errors are one of the top 10 factors reducing a site’s credibility.* In the 2002 “Stanford-Makovsky Web Credibility Study” (a research report by the Stanford lab and Makovsky & Company), researchers noted that “Web users do not overlook simple cosmetic mistakes, such as spelling or grammatical errors. In fact, the findings suggested that typographical errors have roughly the same negative impact on a website’s credibility as a company’s legal or financial troubles.”** Once credibility is diminished or lost, it can be hard to rebuild.

      * B. J. Fogg, “Stanford Guidelines for Web Credibility.” A research summary from the Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab, Stanford University, May 2002, (accessed December 29, 2008).
      ** B. J. Fogg et al., “Stanford-Makovsky Web Credibility Study 2002: Investigating What Makes Web Sites Credible Today.” A research report by the Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab and Makovsky & Company, Stanford University.

A helpful website: Clichés: Avoid Them Like the Plague

July 2013

Advice on using i.e. and e.g.

The 100 words most often misspelled ('misspell' is one of them) as presented by Each word has a mnemonic pill with it and, if you swallow it, it will help you to remember how to spell the word.

June 2013

The Computer Desktop Encyclopedia: A technical dictionary that's actually user-friendly.

Some old but familiar words, and how and why they've endured—an interesting article from Mental Floss.

A quick primer on hyphens.

May 2013

A nice list of examples for using who/whom from Grammarphobia.

April 2013

      A helpful Writer’s Digest article on “The 4 Best Strategies for Savvy Self-Publishers.”

       Publishers Weekly on the growth of Christian self-publishing.

March 2013

 Most of us probably use online dictionaries—and editors use them a lot. We learn from them, and as this article explains, they also learn from us.

• How good grammar can help your professional life: An article from the HBR blogs.

February 2013

• An nice infographic about the Oxford (serial) comma.

  Wise counsel from The Editorial Eye more than three decades ago.

January 2013

 A helpful post from Erin Brenner detailing daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly reminders for editing professionals.

November 2012

 For bilingual children’s stories, children’s videos, coloring pages, activities, and more, visit, a great site run by my talented daughter Lori.

 AP vs. Chicago: A guide comparing Associated Press style and Chicago style for editors, writers, teachers, students, word nerds, and anyone else who gives a dollar sign, ampersand, exclamation point, and pound sign about style.

 The questions and answers from the Chicago Manual of Style Online (updated monthly) cover questions that editors and proofreaders face, and are answered in a clear, concise, and sometimes humorous way.

October 2012
 Getting freelance work as a copyeditor: Good advice from Carol Fisher Saller (10/31).

 Interesting article from Publisher's Weekly (10/24): "The number of self-published books produced annually in the U.S. has nearly tripled, growing 287% since 2006, with 235,625 print and e titles released in 2011, according to a new analysis of data from Bowker." PW also mentions the four largest self-publishing firms.

For a daily update on news and views from editorial professionals, as well as a place to post questions, share advice, and enjoy the occasional pun war, join Copyediting-L, a very active discussion list with very helpful and knowledgeable editors.

This isn't about editing, but it's related. I've found that most editors like to read (a shocking fact, I know), and I'm among them. I like to read science fiction in particular, and when I find good science fiction and fantasy (SFF) books on the Web, I bookmark them. A site I've found that has SFF books which I've enjoyed (for free) is BaenCD at the Fifth Imperium. I hope you enjoy these books as much as I did.

Favorite resources for freelance editors, from the ACES 2011 conference, posted on Mark Allen's website. It's a good list of links, as well as a good website.

Ask a Librarian at the Library of Congress. If you've searched for some information or the answer to some question and just can't seem to find it anywhere on the Web, you might want to try this free service. I've found that the researchers who answer questions I've posed have gone way beyond the call of duty to help me discover answers, while being cheerful, courteous, and a pleasure to communicate with.

The best site for editors I've ever come across is the Copyeditors' Knowledge Base, owned and managed by Katharine O'Moore-Klopf. For editing information, advice, and resources, it's the place to go.

For world news, check out TFI Daily News, a site that I can wholeheartedly recommend, since I manage it J.


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