ClearTips: Edit yourself
Keep a dictionary within reach when you are
writing or editing. Many editors use the tenth edition of
Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (Springfield,
Mass.: Merriam-Webster, Inc., 1994).
- Use it to find out what words mean and
to confirm that words mean what you think they mean.
- Use it to find out the preferred spelling
of a word.
- Use it to see a word in context: dialectical,
a ~ philosopher.
- Use it to find out what preposition
to use: methodical, ~ in his daily routine.
- Use it to see how seeming synonyms can
be differentiated. For example, see the entry for masterful
in Merriam-Webster's Dictionary to see how that
word can be differentiated from domineering, imperious,
peremptory, and imperative.
A dictionary also helps in finding the accepted spelling
of the names of people and places. And many dictionaries have a section
on style and punctuation (Merriam-Webster's Dictionary, pp. 153557).
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