Thursday Thoughts: Language Sites You Should Bookmark

16 Jun

8:22 a.m. — San Antonio

This moving back in time wreaks havoc with the brain. Granted it’s only an hour earlier, but it’s an hour earlier and it’s morning. If what I write is not terribly articulate, you can put it down to that. No, I don’t know what I am going to do in a couple of weeks when I move two hours further west…

So, dear readers, it occurred to me that one of the things I should occasionally have thoughts about are links you might bookmark to build a reference library for your writing. The sites I collect are mostly to do with poetry, language, and blogging [an art in itself]. Today, having finished several Thursdays focused on language usage, I shall talk about some links you may wish to visit and collect for yourself, on language.

The Rag Tree

Keep in mind that as many poets also write narrative, or prose poems, and some write flash fiction, that I will include posts and sites that deal with a more prose than poetry focus.

The first is one such. I will link you to a specific post worth reading and even keeping to hand, but The Rag Tree is also a site worth subscribing to, as he has many interests besides language and writes beautifully and articulately. He titles the piece: ‘Words That Abduct Your Audience’ and starts with, “Gone. That’s right. Nothing says more about you than the way you speak (or write). Here is a list of words that will turn your audience off and make them disappear into space…” While you are there, check out his different categories.

Grammar Monkeys

First, how can you resist the title? Second, whether you have a passion for grammar, or know it is a weakness, this is the site to have. They deal with common mistakes of grammar in a simple, straightforward, understandable manner. I have given you the link to the home page in their title, but I also want to give you links to two posts you should read: 1] ‘Why We Need Grammar‘. I wish I could have written this post, but as they say it better than I can, go read the essay. 2] ‘Nutty non-rules of grammar’. Much as I have said, their conclusion to the points they discuss is do what makes sense, but if you break a rule know what you are doing.

The Elements of Style

How many of you clutched a copy of Strunk and White anytime you wrote something in college, or if you were lucky, in high school? Despite being first published in 1918, they are still the first and last word in proper language usage and now they are online. [Although I still want my paper copies. I have three. Don’t ask.] I’m not sure there is a question they don’t answer.

Hyperbole and a Half

This post is worth a read, as, if it does nothing else, it will make you laugh. It does pertain to language, a misuse I was going to deal with, but I would much rather you see this post on the alot. If you enjoy the author’s humour and illustrations wander around.

Guide to Grammar & Writing

This is an incredibly thorough site with easy to navigate drop down menus. It pays to visit and wander and I have given you the home page link in the title. But, I want to direct your attention specifically to punctuation, as it is one of the most vital tools in a writer’s armoury.

The Oatmeal

Still having problems with the semi-colon. Visit! You will learn how to use one and you will laugh at the examples. What more can you ask?

These sites will provide a good start to our reference library. If any of you have a favourite language site, send it my way and I shall check it out and discuss it in a further Thursday Thoughts.

If you have questions, please ask; I always appreciate comments; and if you think someone would enjoy this [or needs it], click on one of the buttons below.

I shall see you tomorrow for the Friday roundup of prompts and exercises; Tuesday for an open prompt; and next Thursday for a discussion of poetic inversions.

Happy investigating and writing.


Posted by on 16/06/2011 in poetry, writing


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

6 responses to “Thursday Thoughts: Language Sites You Should Bookmark

  1. wordsandthoughtspjs

    16/06/2011 at 12:25 pm

    Thanks for the list, Margo. I have a copy of Strunk’s “The Elements of Style”, in the room where I write. It is invaluable. My husband introduced me to it when I first started writing (seriously).


  2. margo roby

    16/06/2011 at 12:30 pm

    Always happy to find another Strunk and White believer, PameIa! I used to be surprised how many people knew of Strunk and White and swore by them. I try and spread the word to the younger generation. Clever of the Strunk descendant to put it online.


  3. Donna Kiser

    18/06/2011 at 6:28 pm

    HA-Just happened through here to see how your responses to comments went thru Margo, and came upon this. You know, I’ve been on the road in search of a new home for quite some time now. At my daughters for 11 months and now the true road for 33 days. Items brought along were kept to a bare minimum for obvious reasons BUT, I DO have my Strunk and White.

    • margo roby

      18/06/2011 at 6:32 pm

      Lady, I knew we were kin! Somewhere we have to share genetic code. So where are you at the moment and how goes the search? By the way if you ever want to shift the conversation to email, I’m at


  4. Annette

    18/09/2011 at 5:20 pm

    I finally got around to checking out all of these sites. They’re great! I bookmarked a bunch of them. Thanks so much for sharing them with us.

    • margo roby

      19/09/2011 at 11:21 am

      Annette: That is one of the joys of blogs, we can go back to older ones when we have time! I’ll do another similar post when I have collected enough sites of a category.



Join the discussion and feel free to critique, or suggest an idea for any poem I post.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: