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1. WordNet (wordnet.princeton.edu), out of Princeton University’s Cognitive Science Laboratory, provides a more sophisticated means of exploring language than a traditional dictionary and thesaurus. The app’s database groups the 1.4 million words it houses according to conceptual and etymological relationships. Each entry, which begins with a word’s precise definition, offers pathways not only to synonyms and antonyms, but also to hypernyms (umbrella terms), hyponyms (specific words encompassed by a general term), and meronyms (names of parts of a whole). The app can be downloaded for free from iTunes or Google Play.

2. Since 2008 publishing industry insiders Michael Kindness and Ann Kingman, who both work at Random House, have been presenting “illuminating conversations about books and reading” on their weekly podcast, Books on the Nightstand (booksonthenightstand.com). A new episode focused on books they love (which are not simply titles from their house of employment) is released each Wednesday and available on iTunes and the podcast’s website. The site also hosts a full archive of the more than 175 genre-spanning episodes recorded so far, resources for book clubs looking to further the conversation, and prompts for a yearlong reading challenge.

3. The online video poetry journal Jupiter 88 (jupiter88poetry.blogspot.com), a project started in 2011 by Philadelphia poet CAConrad, is a feast of inventive verse as well as a visible web of literary alliances. Conrad, whose book of poems and poetry exercises, A Beautiful Marsupial Afternoon, was published by Wave Books in April, has filmed each of the more than one hundred videos featured in Jupiter 88 in the company of the poets he invites to read. Several installments of the distinctly DIY journal are posted each month.

Reader Comments

  • jhartig says...

    Thanks for your comment, carlacara. The free app available on iTunes that uses Princeton's WordNet software is called the Advanced English Dictionary and Thesaurus (look for the blue icon containing the letter W). The app is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch, and is also available for the Android platform on Google Play.

  • Cerio23 says...

    ....and it truly is a part of me that came in with my hands and feet and heart and soul ...when I was born!  SO I LOVE FINDING PLACES LIKE THIS SITE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Waaaaaaaahhhoooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!    ha ha ha

     

    Thank you.

    Respectfully,

    Cheryl

  • carlacara says...

    This review of new apps sounds great. The WordNet described here is an app I think I'd really like to try on my iphone, or Mac computer. However, the website clearly states that it's only availble for for Windows, with some parts available for "non-Windows" platforms. A search using the iphone app store  and iTunes didn't turn the app. There is one called "English WordNet Dictionary" with a review that warms potential purchasers that this IS NOT the one produced at Princeton. People who write reviews should actually check the stuff they want readers to pursure. Obviously, this writer DID NOT.

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