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stuckupmyownera
01-05-2009, 10:39 PM
I've got some Christmas money to spend and I've been looking at a few Thesaurus-type books. Does anyone recommend getting, or NOT getting, any of the following?

Roget's Super Thesaurus (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Rogets-Super-Thesaurus-Marc-McCutcheon/dp/1582972540/ref=wl_itt_dp?ie=UTF8&coliid=I2J08Q5SPEN1L8&colid=2JGQJPR1QCFUX)
Flip Dictionary (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Flip-Dictionary-Barbara-Ann-Kipfer/dp/1582971404/ref=wl_itt_dp?ie=UTF8&coliid=I1AL01CI0EIRC8&colid=2JGQJPR1QCFUX)
The Describer's Dictionary (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Describers-Dictionary-Treasury-Literary-Quotations/dp/0393312658/ref=wl_itt_dp?ie=UTF8&coliid=I1FZGNLIJZABI6&colid=2JGQJPR1QCFUX)
Giant Thesaurus (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Giant-Thesaurus/dp/0550102701/ref=wl_itt_dp?ie=UTF8&coliid=IZFV8J17DMOUT&colid=2JGQJPR1QCFUX)

Thanks :)

alleycat
01-05-2009, 10:41 PM
I like the old Roget's better than the newer ones. Just an opinion.

scarletpeaches
01-05-2009, 10:45 PM
I recommend against buying a thesaurus in case it influences a writer to use words which aren't in their natural vocabulary.

Strange, you might think, but if one attempts to stick a word in a piece of work just for jolly, it seems tacked-on and false.

GirlWithPoisonPen
01-05-2009, 10:45 PM
None of the above. Get the . . .

Oxford American Writer's Thesaurus

scarletpeaches
01-05-2009, 10:50 PM
Except the OP's in the U.K.

nevada
01-05-2009, 10:51 PM
I'm not fond of thesauri (usses?) either, so i agree with Scarlet. There's got to be better things to spend your money on than thesauri (usses). THey're so utilitarian. Something more frivolous is much more in keeping with the spirit of Christmas. lol If it has to be a writing book how about "writing the breakout novel" by Donald Maass or something like that. But not a thesaurus. That's like buying a Dustbuster for a birthday present. (Yes, my father for my mother)

Samantha's_Song
01-05-2009, 10:52 PM
SP said it all, that's along the same lines as I was thinking too.


I recommend against buying a thesaurus in case it influences a writer to use words which aren't in their natural vocabulary.

Strange, you might think, but if one attempts to stick a word in a piece of work just for jolly, it seems tacked-on and false.

GirlWithPoisonPen
01-05-2009, 10:54 PM
Except the OP's in the U.K.

I fail at reading. D'oh!

I generally agree with the dangers of a thesaurus, but they can be helpful like other tools when used appropriately.

scarletpeaches
01-05-2009, 10:56 PM
So many people are agreeing with me it makes me feel nervous. Afraid. Jittery. Out of sorts. Off-colour. Jumpy. Skittish. ;)

nevada
01-05-2009, 10:59 PM
So many people are agreeing with me it makes me feel nervous. Afraid. Jittery. Out of sorts. Off-colour. Jumpy. Skittish. ;)

Have some chocolate and look at pictures of The Tenant. It'll calm you down. You'll be okay. And put away the thesaurus. :P

alleycat
01-05-2009, 10:59 PM
So many people are agreeing with me it makes me feel nervous. Afraid. Jittery. Out of sorts. Off-colour. Jumpy. Skittish.
If it'll make you feel better, I don't.

Palmfrond
01-05-2009, 11:06 PM
I generally agree with scarletpeaches, but I have to stand up for thesauri. Learning new words doesn't necessarily make our writing ring false (although I admit it can). If the writer makes an effort to look up new words in a proper dictionary in order to use them correctly, a thesaurus can make our writing richer and more exact.

Next to me on the sofa here is the Oxford American, along with the Chicago Manual of Style and the Merriam-Webster College Dictionary.

Samantha's_Song
01-05-2009, 11:12 PM
Don't worry gal, we don't agree on everything :D


So many people are agreeing with me it makes me feel nervous. Afraid. Jittery. Out of sorts. Off-colour. Jumpy. Skittish. ;)

Mad Queen
01-05-2009, 11:38 PM
Then I'll ease your mind by disagreeing with you. Sometimes you want to say the character is nervous about his job, but not exactly nervous, he's more like... afraid, agitated, annoyed, apprehensive, basket case, bothered, concerned, distressed, disturbed, edgy, excitable, fidgety, fitful, flustered, fussy, hesitant, high-strung, hysterical, irritable, jittery, jumpy, nervy, neurotic, on edge, overwrought, querulous, restive, ruffled, sensitive, shaky, shrinking, shy, skittish, snappish, solicitous, spooked, taut, tense, timid, timorous, troubled, twitchy, uneasy, unrestful, unstrung, upset, uptight, volatile, weak, wired, worried? If you are finicky about finding the best word that describe your ideas, a thesaurus helps.

By the way, free thesauri:
http://thesaurus.reference.com/
http://www.merriam-webster.com/

scarletpeaches
01-05-2009, 11:40 PM
I am glad that not everyone agrees, concurs, accedes, acquiesces.

stuckupmyownera
01-05-2009, 11:52 PM
Then I'll ease your mind by disagreeing with you. Sometimes you want to say the character is nervous about his job, but not exactly nervous, he's more like... afraid, agitated, annoyed, apprehensive, basket case, bothered, concerned, distressed, disturbed, edgy, excitable, fidgety, fitful, flustered, fussy, hesitant, high-strung, hysterical, irritable, jittery, jumpy, nervy, neurotic, on edge, overwrought, querulous, restive, ruffled, sensitive, shaky, shrinking, shy, skittish, snappish, solicitous, spooked, taut, tense, timid, timorous, troubled, twitchy, uneasy, unrestful, unstrung, upset, uptight, volatile, weak, wired, worried? If you are finicky about finding the best word that describe your ideas, a thesaurus helps.

Haha! Thanks Mad Queen. My problem isn't lack of vocabulary, it's just sometimes I need some help to find the RIGHT word, or remember that word that's on the tip of my tongue. A lot of these modern thesauri, it seems, mix dictionary function in and have specialist words by subject as well, like financial jargon, sports words, medical words, types of flowers/cars/you-name-it.

Soooo... Ummm... Anyone used any of the above? :D

stormie
01-05-2009, 11:52 PM
SP--stop obfuscating! I'm confused as it is! Those words!

Anyway, I had an old beat up Roget's Thesaurus paperback from about 20 years ago and it was great. Someone gave me a new one about two years ago and I don't like it as much. Supposedly new and improved.

You can go online and use www.rhymezone.com or www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus

Shadow_Ferret
01-05-2009, 11:57 PM
So many people are agreeing with me it makes me feel nervous. Afraid. Jittery. Out of sorts. Off-colour. Jumpy. Skittish. ;)
I'm not agreeing.

I think a thesaurus is an invaluable tool for a writer.

I agree that you shouldn't just plug in words willy-nilly, but I tend to use it to help me come up with that word that is right there on the tip of my tongue, I can't quite think of it, I know it's there, so I pull out the thesaurus and voila! There is is. Obfuscate.

Samantha's_Song
01-06-2009, 12:10 AM
Hehehe SF said willy :D

Meerkat
01-06-2009, 12:20 AM
I can't believe there isn't another word for Thesaurus.

IceCreamEmpress
01-06-2009, 01:07 AM
I can't believe there isn't another word for Thesaurus.

There's another phrase for it: a dictionary of synonyms.

Or we could coin one: a synonymicon.

Mad Queen
01-06-2009, 01:13 AM
My Oxford thesaurus lists wordfinder, wordbook, synonym dictionary/lexicon; rare synonymy as synonyms for thesaurus.

Meerkat
01-06-2009, 01:39 AM
Gosh--thanks for correcting me, youse guys!

Are there any other words for "sarcasm?"

;)

Barb D
01-06-2009, 02:06 AM
Did you know the word "gullible" is not in the dictionary?

As for thesauri, the online ones work for me, and don't take up any shelf space. Buy yourself a nice piece of art. :)

Saint Fool
01-06-2009, 02:24 AM
Anyone who's browsed SYW has witnessed the horrors of thesaurus abuse, but that doesn't mean it can't be useful to a writer. I probably use my ancient Webster's New World Thesaurus once or twice a month, and I always check the precise meaning in the dictionary.

A side benefit is that I almost always learn a new word when I do use it. I think I found "susurrus" via the thesaurus. Haven't ever used it in writing, but it's a cool word.

Danger Jane
01-06-2009, 07:06 AM
I use online thesauri when I need to, or else the ones that come with my computer. Not to look up a "fancier" word for what I mean, but for when the correct word is on the tip of my tongue and all I can think of is a close, but wrong for my purposes, synonym.

Nandi
01-06-2009, 05:10 PM
Roget.

A thesaurus is not a crutch, it's a tool.

stormie
01-06-2009, 06:46 PM
I use online thesauri when I need to, or else the ones that come with my computer. Not to look up a "fancier" word for what I mean, but for when the correct word is on the tip of my tongue and all I can think of is a close, but wrong for my purposes, synonym.
Exactly.

Meerkat
01-06-2009, 06:49 PM
Precisely. Specifically. Unerringly.

stuckupmyownera
01-08-2009, 03:11 PM
Well for the record, I thought I'd just come back and let you know I bought two: The Flip Dictionary and the Giant Thesaurus, and they both look really good so far.

The Giant Thesaurus is just that - a very thorough thesaurus, which also has little panels under certain words expanding a little further (e.g. under meat: kinds of meat include... and cuts of meat include... and under chemistry, a list of the chemical elements and many chemistry terms) and more panels clarifying the differences between oft-confused words (e.g. the difference between enormousness and enormity, between masterful and masterly etc.).

The Flip Dictionary is also something of a thesaurus, but focusses much more on word lists (as in the Giant Thesaurus but more numerous and more thorough) and reverse-dictionary function, by way of related terms. For example, under SAIL we have a list of synonyms for sail, as you might expect, then a list of related terms:

sail types: balloon, foresail, jib, mainsail, mizzen, spanker, spinnaker, staysail, topsail
sail, bulging part of: bag
sail, corner of: clew, head, tack
sail, ring or grommet on edge of: cringle
sail, to roll up and secure a: furl
sail, to secure or bind a: frap, lash
and many more.

I was worried I'd wish I'd only picked one of these and the other would go unused, but actually they're quite different, and I can see them both being very useful.

Hope that's of use to somebody. I thought I might as well follow up on my original post, since no-one else seemed aware of the books. :)