1. Language Log: Written by several highly accomplished linguists, Language Log tracks the evolution of language and our understanding of it. It occasionally gets a bit technical, but it includes lots of delicious brain candy for word websites.
2. Online-Utility: This site has a lot of cool features, but one of the most distinctive – and useful! – is the readability calculator. All you have to do is copy and paste what you’ve written, and the tool will tell you what reading level your text is at (if it’s above about tenth grade, and you’re aiming for a general audience, you may want to make some adjustments). Even better, it will highlight the sentences most in need of revision. Granted, it can’t replace a strong editor, but if you’re just starting your revision process then this is a good place to start.
3. Fritinancy: As the tagline says, Nancy Friedman analyzes names, brands, writing, and the language of commerce. If you’re involved with marketing – either professionally or just in terms of building your personal brand – you’ll benefit from her insights. If not, you’ll find plenty of ideas and observations that will catch your attention and make you think.
4. Literal Minded: Neal Whitman writes about linguistics in everyday life. Word websites like this include the things he notices as he goes about his business as a husband and father will consistently have you saying “Oh yeah, I always wondered about that!”
5. A Word a Day: If you want to improve your vocabulary (and who doesn’t?), check out this page on wordsmith.org. If you make it your home page, you won’t even have to do any work to make sure that every day, a new word enters your brain. You can simply see one everyday when you open your computer and learn something new.