|As a writer, we sometimes struggle to find that elusive word that’s right on the tip of our tongues, but when we find a descriptive noun or a powerful verb, it’s worth the effort. In the words of Mark Twain, “The difference between the almost right word & the right word is really a large matter–it’s the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”
In the past, I would reach for my handy Roget’s Thesaurus, but lately, it hasn’t gotten much use since I recently upgraded to The Synonym Finder, by R. I. Rodale. It’s 1361 pages weighs in at 2.6 pounds (over 1 kg), and works just as well for fighting off an assailant as it is for finding just the right word. I am astounded at the number of synonyms it includes, both command and obscure. For example, I opened at random and pointed to the word feast. I counted 146 different synonyms, ranging from “celebration” to “ring the bell for.”Looking up synonyms is a one-step process, unlike my massive (and now, largely unused) Roget’s International Thesaurus (5th Edition), for which you first look a word up in its index, which gives you a reference number, which you then use to find the actual term for which you want to find a synonym.
I will warn you that this work may be difficult to find in your local book store, but you can find it on Amazon.com, though sometimes you may have to settle for a used copy, since at present, the book is no longer in print. I read recently that the rights to reprint the book are in negotiations, so hopefully this most excellent resource will be more available in the not-too-distant future.
When I reach for a physical thesaurus, the Synonym Finder is my first choice every time. If you can find a copy, I highly recommend it over every other thesaurus I have used to date.
The Synonym Finder
By: R. I. Rodale
Product Review: The Synonym Finder by J. I. Rodale
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