We’re so lucky to have the internet to help us with vocabulary! Although it’s true that there are a lot of poorly-written sites out there that won’t teach you new vocabulary or the best ways to use it, there are many good sources for news and information about English vocabulary. Here are some of the ones we like:
Word Origins / History of English
The writer known as Ojibwa on the Daily Kos site has an occasional series called “Origins of English” that provides an excellent overview of the history of the language.
While not a daily blog per se, the Online Etymology Dictionary is a great place to do a quick look-up for individual words. For commentary and topical discussions on word origins, check out Dave Wilton’s blog Wordorigins. You can also follow Dave on Twitter.
At The Etyman Language Blog you’ll get in-depth discussions about word origins, written in a clear but advanced academic style. This blog is updated less than once a week in general, but the posts are worth waiting for.
Learning New Vocabulary
For vocabulary words with images to help you remember them, check out The Vocabulary Blog where interesting illustrations provide mental and visual links to word definitions. This blog is written by Mike Kloran, an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher in Japan. Because English is a difficult language for ESL learners, you’ll often find that ESL teachers are able to explain words in ways that are very easy to understand.
One very popular way to learn vocabulary is to find a “word of the day” calendar to put on your desk. Of course, now we also have internet sites that provide that service as well! One good place to find your word of the day is at The New York Times. Not only do they give you interesting words to learn, but they also link to articles that use each word, so you can see how it’s used in context.
The Merriam-Webster online dictionary also provides a word of the day so if you happen to use that as your online reference, take a detour to learn a new word while you’re looking up the definition of another one.
Of course, we encourage you to continue to read The Vocabulary Builder’s Blog, your first source for news and information about the English vocabulary you need to succeed!