dict: Another great tool for writers

I mentioned a long while ago that the biggest help in writing for this crummy blog is charm, and a capable lieutenant to charm was aspell.

I neglected to mention dict, and that was a grievous oversight.


dict is a huge timesaver, even if you don’t live at the console 100 percent of the time.

I have a lousy Internet connection (thanks for the sad news, bing) and it can take more than 20 seconds just to load the front page of dictionary.com. (Just to be clear, that’s not their fault, it’s my landlord’s fault. 👿 )

On the other hand, dict can skim through a rasher of dictionaries, gazetteers and thesauri in a fraction of a second, and come up with answers that are just as good.

And in this age of impatience — oops, I mean information, speed is king.

Best of all, there is a laundry list of translation dictionaries, gimmick dictionaries, jargon lists and so forth to install. Have fun with Ambrose Bierce’s classic Devil’s Dictionary, for starters.

I don’t like saying this too loud, because once word gets out, everyone will want it, but: If you don’t have dict on your machine, you’re missing out.