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Tip Tuesday #60

Tip Tuesday is a recurring feature where readers send in tips for fellow writers. If you'd like to share a tip, please do so. Today's tip was sent in by Thermocline, and it's another great one. Very helpful. Enjoy!

TheFreeDictionary.com is a great dictionary/thesaurus site because they provide references in classic literature of whatever word you're looking up. I really like being able to see the words in context. There are times, however, when I've wanted to check a whole phrase to be sure I am using it correctly.

Typing quotes around the phrase and entering it into a Google Books search allows you to look for that exact phrase in millions of other books. It’s great for helping to guard against clichés. It’s also useful when you’re in doubt of the proper word order of your phrase or if you’ve got a tricky punctuation question. For example, “one- or two-word sentences” was giving me trouble last week. I wasn’t sure whether it was, “one or two word,” “one or two-word,” or, the big winner according to the editors of a slew of books, “one- or two-word.”

Thermocline

7 comments:

  1. Thanks for the tip. I'm needing this for my current manuscript. I'm always so worried about being cliches.

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  2. Thanks for the tip. I use an online thesaurus, but I'll have to try this.

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  3. What an awesome tip. I never would have thought of this.

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  4. Awesome tip! I'll have to come up with a kick butt one!

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  5. Good tip! I'll have to bookmark those sites. (I use www.dictionary.com and its thesaurus page, but I've never thought to do a Google Books search for phrases - great idea!)

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  6. Oh, great tip! I often use the online thesaurus and dictionary. It's fast an easy. Hadn't thought to use the google books tip in that way. Cool!

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