A Nifty Personal Brand Writing Tool: Wordnik

by Meg Guiseppi on February 23, 2010

brand-writingMost of my work day is spent writing — creating personal marketing communications for my executive clients, blog posts for my 2 blogs, guest-blogs and articles for various other blogs and websites, and my own business and career marketing materials.

I love words and I’m always interested in resources to improve my writing.

Recently I came across Wordnik.

According to their site, Wordnik is billions of words, 300 million example sentences, 4.7 million unique words, and over 180,000 comments, 87,000 tags, 74,000 pronunciations, 22,259 favorites and 22,819 lists created by 29,177 Wordniks.

My mouth was watering after reading that.

In a NY Times Sunday Magazine “On Language” article in December, Erin McKean, chief executive and founder of Wordnik, explained what their online dictionary is trying to accomplish:

“We’re using text-mining techniques and the unlimited space of the Internet to show as many real examples of word use as we can, as fast as we can.

This approach is especially useful for grasping new words and uses: if you look up “tweet” on a site like mine, for example, you understand that the word is used to refer to messages sent via Twitter; there’s no waiting for an editor to write you a definition; plus there are examples of tweets right on the page.

A word is so much more than its meaning: it’s also who uses it, when it was used, what words appear alongside it and what kinds of texts it appears in.”

Wordnik includes definitions, examples, pronounciations, etymologies, and statistics.

It also has a fun and helpful blog, and a word of the day. On February 8, the word was “eldritch”. Know what it means? Get the answer.

Related post:

65 Power Personal Branding Verbs to Nail Your Executive Value Proposition

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Meg Guiseppi February 24, 2010 at 7:10 am

Hey Ryan,

That’s funny! Hmmmm …. You’ve got an interesting take on the etymology (a word I learned on Wordnik) of “eldritch”.


2 Ryan Rancatore February 23, 2010 at 11:24 pm

Eldritch…isn’t that Tiger Woods’ real first name? :-)

3 Meg Guiseppi February 23, 2010 at 2:15 pm

Thanks for visiting and commenting, Scott.

Wordnik truly is an amazing site. I’m glad the NY Times highlighted it, because I may not have found it otherwise.


4 Scott Scanlon February 23, 2010 at 1:18 pm

I never saw that website before. I like words as well. It is amazing what technology is making possible these days.

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