As a part of a linguistic class taught by Prof. Vamarasi at Northeastern Illinois University in the spring of 2001, I did a term paper that involved some research in prescriptive and descriptive resources on the web. Since I find the study of linguistics of particular interest (although I'm not sure I'd want to make a career of it!) here is a list of resources that I've used, that I continue to use, and which anyone might find useful or interesting.
The list is in no particular order.
The Merriam Webster dictionary: http://www.m-w.com/home.htm
Lexico LLC is an internet provider of language tools: http://www.dictionary.com
The Oxford English Dictionary (look up) http://dictionary.oed.com/entrance.dtl
The OED Home Page: http://www.oed.com
Random House also has a nice site, http://www.randomhouse.com/words/ , and offers a Word-A-Day email as well.
(Hint: when reading text on-line, open up a NEW browser, and point this at one of dictionaries above. Continue reading in one browser, but cut-and-paste unfamiliar words to look them up in the other browser. This is much more convenient and faster than trying to manipulate a single browser window between the text you're interested in and the dictionary.)
By email, subscribe to at:
Merriam Webster: http://www.Merriam-Webster.com/service/subinst.htm
Not available by email, the OED has a word-a-day program at:
The Maven's Word of the Day, from Random House http://www.randomhouse.com/wotd/
A Guide to Writing Research Papers (based on, though not endorsed by) the Modern Language Association can be seen at http://webster.commnet.edu/mla.htm. A guide similarly based on the American Psychological Association recommendations is available from http://webster.commnet.edu/apa/apa_index.htm.
Fun and Games
Lexico's Fun site: http://www.dictionary.com/fun/
Merriam-Websters Game site: http://www.m-w.com/game/
William Safire's On Language column appeared weekly in the New
York Times Sunday Magazine. It's interesting reading, and thought
provoking as well. Go to the NY Times web site, http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/s/william_safire/index.html
but you may need to subscribe.
It's free, but you'll need a name and password to access the newspaper,
as well as the Sunday Magazine, which is available all week. Safire dies
in 2009, and a direct link to his archived columns is at http://topics.nytimes.com/top/features/magazine/columns/on_language/index.html
For the academically inclined
From the University of Michigan, the Virtual Library of Linguistics, http://www.emich.edu/~linguist/www-vl.html
There's more, of course, that I have discovered and if you have something particularly interesting or worthwhile, drop me a note
ack to the Home Page of Bob Kastigar