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shibby
07-25-2014, 04:59 PM
Hi all,

Not sure if this is in the correct forum?

A work friend (nosey bugger) read something I had been working on.

He then purchased Panda eats shoots and leaves, to help with my writing. Because he feels my use of synonyms is un-improvable.

I am aware of what a synonym is, but I must not actually know what they are because I don't see where I am using them in my work?

Is anybody able to give me an example, just a few sentences, something with synonyms and something without? If it's possible :)

Thanks

Shibby

Torgo
07-25-2014, 05:02 PM
Could it be 'similes' rather than synonyms? I mean, I'm not sure how you could 'use' synonyms - two words meaning the same thing...?

Fruitbat
07-25-2014, 05:08 PM
I don't quite understand your post. He said you misuse synonyms? Synonyms are just different words that mean the same thing. So, he said you use the same words over and over again and should vary them more? Or the opposite, you use too many different words and should stick with the one word? Or... what?

Okay, here are a couple of quick examples of synonyms:

I walked down the road. I walked down the street. ("road" and "street" are synonyms).

That's a pretty shirt. That's a lovely shirt. ("pretty" and "lovely" are the synonyms there).

Is that what you were asking for?

shibby
07-25-2014, 05:15 PM
I don't quite understand your post. He said you misuse synonyms?

Is that what you were asking for?

Yeah, me either really.

He said my "use of synonyms appears un-improvable!!!!"

Your examples were exactly what I was looking for. My question to him well be how are my use of synonyms a bad thing. For example the pretty shirt and lovely shirt... Does it matter which one I use. I could say anything to describe the shirt if I wanted.

I think maybe he has no idea what he is talking about and is just pulling my leg.

haha

Shibby

shibby
07-25-2014, 05:16 PM
Could it be 'similes' rather than synonyms? I mean, I'm not sure how you could 'use' synonyms - two words meaning the same thing...?

It could be, but the piece he read didn't have many similies in, maybe just one in the whole 600 words.

I'll need to ask him.

Shibby

NRoach
07-25-2014, 05:30 PM
Maybe he thought that you were going overboard with choosing words for mundane things. Gasping, not saying, for example.

Torgo
07-25-2014, 05:36 PM
'Unimprovable' is a good thing, though? You want your work to be unimprovable?

shibby
07-25-2014, 05:45 PM
Maybe he thought that you were going overboard with choosing words for mundane things. Gasping, not saying, for example.

Potentially, if so then I would probably disagree with him even more so. I don't think I did this.

I was told "said" is almost always the only acceptable tag after speech... This feedback came from me saying "Anna asked" after her dialogue... So therefore that's what I did, cut back on my use of tags.

If anybody wants to see the 600 words to see if you agree with him, it's in the SYW Sci-Fi section.

Shibby

Marlys
07-25-2014, 06:37 PM
I took a look at your excerpt, and don't see a problem with synonyms. Punctuation, yes. Synonyms, no. Unless he saw the version before you replaced asked, replied, groaned?

shibby
07-25-2014, 06:40 PM
I took a look at your excerpt, and don't see a problem with synonyms. Punctuation, yes. Synonyms, no. Unless he saw the version before you replaced asked, replied, groaned?

"Punctuation my old friend, we met again" I said.

Nope, he saw the revised version with the replacement "said"'s.

Thanks,

Shibby

Bufty
07-25-2014, 07:23 PM
We've no idea what he meant. Why not ask him?


"Punctuation my old friend, we met again" I said.

Nope, he saw the revised version with the replacement "said"'s.

Thanks,

Shibby

shibby
07-25-2014, 07:29 PM
Will do Bufty will do.

I wanted to ask people about synonyms before I confronted him. Just incase I was in the wrong. Don't want to look like a bellend, chirping on like I know everything when I don't.

Chase
07-25-2014, 09:49 PM
Obviously another case of office synonym rage. Or one more example of workplace similar meaning hostility. Or an additional sample of on-the-job alternate-word hatred. Or :chores :flamethrower

Fruitbat
07-25-2014, 10:55 PM
Hee hee, she said "bellend." *scuttles off stage in shame*

shibby
07-25-2014, 10:59 PM
Hee hee, she said "bellend." *scuttles off stage in shame*

She me? I'm a he :)

Torgo
07-25-2014, 11:07 PM
Guys, guys: whatever 'synonym' means in this context, saying your use of synonyms is 'unimprovable' is a compliment!

NDoyle
07-26-2014, 04:01 AM
Is there any chance that the word your coworker meant was not "synonym" but "homonym"? (An example of homonyms would be there/their/they're.)

blacbird
07-26-2014, 10:26 AM
Sounds to me like his explanation of what he feels you need to improve, he needs to improve. If you've presented his comments accurately, they don't make much sense.

And there aren't many things in writing that are "unimprovable."

caw

shibby
07-26-2014, 12:24 PM
Is there any chance that the word your coworker meant was not "synonym" but "homonym"? (An example of homonyms would be there/their/they're.)

1,000,000,000% no chance. It drives me mental when I'm on facebook and I see an old school friend type a status and get "your" and "you're" wrong and I flip my lid when I see someone getting "there" or "their" mixed up.

So their we are its not going to be that. I'll just tell him "your a fool mind you're own business" :P

Shibby

Once!
07-26-2014, 01:49 PM
I'm struggling here. A synonym is a word with the same or similar meaning as a another word. Therefore we usually talk about two or more synonyms. One synonym on its own isn't particularly significant as just about every word can have a synonym.

A synonym on its own is not a grammatical mistake or a problem. It's just "another word that means the same thing".

So it's a little difficult for us to give you a sentence with or without synonyms. Just about every sentence has at least one synonym.

So then we are into a guessing game about what your friend really means. Assuming that he does mean "synonym", he could mean that you are not using enough or using too many. Not using enough synonyms generally happens when we use a limited vocabulary. The reader can get bored when they see the same word being used over and over again. That's when we dearly wish that the author could find a synonym or two for some of the words he or she is over-using.

On the other hand, it is possible to use too many synonyms. We've already talked about the problem when authors use alternatives for "said". But the same can happen if someone keeps trying to find a different word for something as ubiquitous as a character's name. In one sentence he is Fred, then Mr Smith, then Fred Smith, then Bill's son, then the cop, then the detective, then the Texan.

Reading through your piece, I suspect your friend may be trying to give you some feedback which goes a bit wider than just "synonyms". Or by buying you a book he is hoping that you will figure it out for yourself.

As Bufty said, you need to ask him.

shibby
07-26-2014, 03:59 PM
he could mean that you are not using enough

This could be it. I suppose maybe I use "said" and "walked" quite a lot.

I think we have well established I need to ask him. Nobody but he knows what was meant by it.

The reason I opened the thread was because I thought I knew what a synonym was, but had to question myself because I couldn't see what he meant.

I wasn't trying to ask you guys what he meant. I was just wanting some sort of info on synonyms :)

Shibby

B.D. Eyeslie
07-26-2014, 04:06 PM
What's all this talk about cinnamon? The lovely red dust of the gods. I love cinnamon on toast and sweet bread. I don't understand how anyone could not like cinnamon; it's delicious and good for you too. Similarly, I love sugar, that holy snow from the peak of Olympus.

What?....never mind.

Seriously though, I'm not sure I would value the advice of someone who says, "...my use of synonyms appears un-improvable!!!!"

Chase
07-26-2014, 06:21 PM
What's all this talk about cinnamon?

Unless my hearing is bad, I'm pretty sure they were discussing Cimarron, a river, a book, and a movie. :D

Bufty
07-26-2014, 07:54 PM
Cimarron? I thought it was a thread on making soup - simmering, you know.

Jamesaritchie
07-26-2014, 10:14 PM
Are you positive your friend didn't say "simile"? I've read Eats, Shoots & Leaves, and I can see how the book applies to similes, but not to synonyms. Or maybe your friend just misspoke.

I have no clue at all how anyone could read your writing and know anything at all about synonyms.

shibby
07-27-2014, 10:27 PM
Are you positive your friend didn't say "simile"? I've read Eats, Shoots & Leaves, and I can see how the book applies to similes, but not to synonyms. Or maybe your friend just misspoke.

I have no clue at all how anyone could read your writing and know anything at all about synonyms.

It was sent in an email... So unless he can't spell simile :-/

I'll see him at some point next week so I'll ask him.

Shibby