1. lostinwebspace
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    lostinwebspace Active Member

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    Online subscriptions

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by lostinwebspace, Feb 13, 2016.

    I guess this is best for the Word Mechanics forum because it deals mostly with...guess what...the mechanics of words :p but tell me:

    What online subscriptions do you guys have to assist your writing? What I mean is, I'm thinking about a two-year membership to CMoS to check my technicalities, to Merriam-Webster to unlock some of those subscription-only definitions and whatnot. They're paid, so I stand to lose out if they're no good. So instead of Merriam-Webster, why not go with Dictionary.com? I figure it's good to try Merriam-Webster out and see what it's like. From what I hear from professional editors, they use it as standard.

    Any thoughts on these or other sites?
     
  2. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I wouldn't pay for any of them, unless I had money just sitting around, waiting to be spent.

    CMoS is industry standard, but it's dense - if you're not a professional editor, it's way more detail than you need. And most of the most interesting parts are excerpted for free elsewhere on the web.

    And Merriam-Webster is a good dictionary, but, again, you don't need that level of precision as a writer. If you don't have a pretty good idea what a word means, you probably shouldn't be using it anyway.

    I don't pay for any online services. I really don't think they're necessary for writers.
     
  3. lostinwebspace
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    lostinwebspace Active Member

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    I use CMoS and M-W (the paper kinds and the free parts of the site) mostly for spellchecking and making sure if I can use a word as an intransitive verb, a transitive verb, a noun, etc. Maybe it's also more for interest level: I do take an interest in the mechanics of the language just out of sheer entertainment. Maybe that's where my interest in these subscriptions is coming from, so it might not be out of necessity. But I'd have to disagree (at least somewhat, more in the case of CMoS since M-W has some competitors that are almost as good): I'd find this stuff necessary for writers to present their best efforts and it seems like a lot of these places are moving to the web more than paper. I find myself checking M-W and Google several times during a writing or editing session. Besides, a copy of CMoS can run somewhere around $60. At least a year's subscription is more bite-sized for the wallet.

    But, like I said, I might be talking more out of interest than necessity here.
     

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