Crack The Spine On Your Dictionary

Good morning, everyone.  How was everyone's week?  I hope the Easter bunny was good to everyone.  We here took advantage of the long weekend and beautiful weather and got the first hike of the season in.  Was a perfect time for it, no bugs, sunny and a slight breeze.  Visited an out-of-the-way national park, nice and far from civilization.  The scenery was spectacular, half frozen waterfalls, old trees with stories to tell, beech tree glens where the snow still clung onto the frozen ground, and clay cliffs that gave way to extremely large beaches and extraordinary tides.  And due to a navigational error on my part, we were there for majority of the day.  Here is a picture of part of the beach.

As far as writing goes, it's been a bit quieter here, although I'll be getting my butt into gear today and getting some work done.  I also have to do some much dreaded accounting, gotta love tax time.  It has been a huge learning curve, learning how to do basic accounting and what I can claim as a small business.  Yep without realizing it I have become a small business, and I was just writing for fun.

Today I want to introduce the best weapon that a writer can have, a dictionary.  I know most of you are going, well duh!!!, but hear me out.  When you know what you are looking for, a dictionary is a great tool, but what happens when you want a word with some punch yet you aren't sure how it should be used, or where it belongs in a sentence.  The key to creating impact with writing is using proper words and proper sentence structure.  In this case, a dictionary combined with a thesaurus is a fantastic duo.  I recommend that anyone who writes on a daily basis, or would like to expand on their vocabulary, invest in these tools.  Don't laugh, but I was a very nerdy child and read the dictionary on several occasions, along with entire encyclopedias.  But that led to my love of the English language and eventually to my love of writing.

In regards to a dictionary, I would like to talk about some of the abbreviations used.  In most printed dictionaries there is a table at either the beginning or end of the book that explain the abbreviations used, however not all online or dictionary apps do.

Here are some common ones:

Abr.     abridged
Acad.   academia
adj.       adjective
adv.      adverb
c.          century
c           circa
comp.   compound, composition
def.       definition
ind.       indicative
lit.         literal
m.         masculine
masc.    masculine
obj.       object
pa. t.     past tense
phr.      phrase
v.         verb

This is just a short example of some abbreviations used.  For further reading, I recommend:
Oxford English Dictionary-Abbreviations

That is all for today.  Time for me to get cracking and get my work done.  And for anyone out there, if there is ever anything that you would like covered or discussed, or any ideas for future posts, drop me an email at or leave a comment below.  Feedback is always welcome.

©2013 S. Stevens


Post a Comment