Visual dictionaries

Ever need a word to describe a part of something and not be able to come up with it?  “You know, that thing that goes on the other thing.”  In French, the word is truc.  And in conversations, it’s fine to not be exact.  But what about when you’re writing?

Well, for that God invented un truc called a visual dictionary.  It tells you the names of all those little pieces and parts and areas that you didn’t even realize had names.  And it’s damn addictive.

I recently used one while writing a short story about hobos riding the rails.  You’d think that having a small kid obsessed with all things transportation-related would mean that I would know the difference between a hopper and a gondola, but alas, I apparently haven’t been paying as much attention to his train videos as I should.

Merriam-Webster Visual Dictionary to the rescue!  I found this great entry that taught me more than I’ll ever need to know about locomotives.  Or at least enough to write a 750-word story about hobos.

(Sadly, there’s nothing in there about hobos.)

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