A New Word in Your Inbox

By January 14, 2011Writing about Writing

While my email inbox seems to fill up pretty quickly most days, there is one thing that I am always happy to receive: a new word. The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) offers a word a day for free to anyone willing to take the time to sign up here.  I have recently signed up, and I just love this service! This will be a helpful vocabulary boosting exercise for those of you who are studying for the GRE, but it is also a lot of fun.  Not only do you receive a new word (even if it isn’t new, you will learn something new about it), but you also learn etymology and, my favorite feature, instances of usage by well-known writers. Yesterday’s word, for example, was apoptosis, a noun derived from an ancient Greek word meaning “falling off or falling away.” Now apoptosis has a biological meaning that concerns the death of individual cells. This was a new word for me, and I was interested to learn that it was used by John Updike in his eighteenth novel Toward the End of Time (1997). The OED Word of the Day usually appears in my inbox around 7:30 PM, and I already can’t wait to learn what today’s word will be.

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • joeo235 says:

    I agree, Jennifer, the OED is an excellent resource. I’m going to sign up for the Word of the Day e-mail. Thanks for sharing. Also, members of DePaul’s community can access the OED online by clicking here.

  • Mia Amélie says:

    I love the OED. Love. So, essentially, this is awesome!

    On that note, how bout we get multilingual? Span¡shD!ct (http://www.spanishdict.com/) offers a Spanish word of the day in your e-mail (among other services on their website, like lessons, discussions, etc.). I’m sure there are plenty of other great services such as this one to help stimulate our linguistic interests.

    But truly, I’m looking forward to expanding upon my love affair with the OED as of now.