What reference work (dictionary, thesaurus, style guide, etc) is indispensable in your writing? Why?
Here’s what I’ve got on my reference bookshelf (yes, these are actual printed books!):
The Dictionary of Clichés
The Bantam Medical Dictionary
The New International Dictionary of Quotations
What Happened When
Woe is I
Chicago Manual of Style
The Elements of Style (otherwise known as Strunk and White)
Mark My Words
Formatting & Submitting Your Manuscript
The Synonym Finder
Illustrated Reverse Dictionary
The New York Public Library Desk Reference
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary of Quotations
A Treasury for Word Lovers
Do I ever use these books? What, with the Internet a click away? Are you kidding? Truth is—for good or for bad—I do most of my research/grammar-checking/spell-checking/synonym-finding
/procrastinating on line.
From time to time, however, I will crack open my Chicago Manual to check on some arcane usage question (I slept through my high school English classes). There’s just something about that authoritative tome that I trust!
(This entry is “simul-posted” on Criminal Minds.)