Useful Writing Tools

Let's face it, we all get stuck for words from time to time. I'd like to take a moment to recommend a couple of tools that can help you create more diverting dispatches.

The first is CocoAspell. This is Anton Leuski OS X implementation of Aspell, a free, open-source spell checker that significantly bulks up Apple's built-in dictionary. With CocoAspell installed you'll quickly discover that the letter s appears twice in the word "embarrassed."

The second is Nisus Thesaurus. This free utility works as both a stand-alone application and as a service that can be invoked in any application that supports services -- Apple's Safari, for example. When stumped for a synonym for "pathetic" while surfing Safari, just press Shift-Command- < and, lo, you're presented with the much worthier substitutes hapless, piteous, and wretched.

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