Finding the #Write #Words? No. 28: The Emotion Thesaurus

Continuing the description of books on words and language listed in the introductory post, which you’ll find here.

Book 28: The Emotion Thesaurus:

Paperback, 164 pages. Published in 2012 by the authors, Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi. I think I paid around £8.00 for it at the time of publication. There’s now a second edition, published in 2019, with 302 pages, available at £13.23.

Subtitled, A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression, my copy has lists of emotional responses, alphabetically ordered, from Adoration through to Worry.

Opened randomly at pages 90/91, we find a listing for Humiliation:

DEFINITION: feeling degraded or mortified, worthless or cheap.

PHYSICAL SIGNALS: a list of 36 physical signs of humiliation is given.

INTERNAL SENSATIONS: a list of 11 sensations that might be felt by the humiliated person.

MENTAL RESPONSES: 5 responses that might be experienced.

CUES OF ACUTE OR LONG-TERM HUMILIATION: 5 indications of the emotion, with 5 more escalations highlighted along with their own page numbers.

CUES OF SUPPRESSED HUMILIATION: list of 6 such cues is given.

Finally. A WRITER’S TIP: ‘Add conflicting emotions for a richer experience. A character might feel excitement and pride at purchasing their first car, yet worry that they might be extending themselves too far financially. This inner conflict helps to humanize a character to the reader.’

As can be seen, this reference book provides a number of different approaches to characterising the emotion on the page both from the point of view of a witness and the sufferer. I find it a valuable aid in describing emotional states, and one that allows me to prevent unnecessary repetition. And, let’s face it, most fiction relies on its ability to convey emotions for its success with readers.

English is a complex language, made up of words from many countries, and borrows rules of grammar, punctuation and even style from the originating lands, which can make it interestingly familiar to learners but also frequently frustratingly baffling to the same students.

Those learning the English Language will find help on pronunciation here. And you’ll find a friendly group on Facebook through this link.

And, for those with an interest in English and considering their future, here’s a link that suggests the many possible career opportunities open to those with a degree in English. It’s also a link to an online university, and therefore an advert for their services. I know nothing of the institution, but the list of possible career choices might be useful.

Earlier posts in the series can be found by clicking on the titles below.

2. A Dictionary of Misunderstood Misused Mispronounced Words.
3. A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English.
4. A Miscellany for Word Lovers.
6. A Dictionary of Rhyming Slang.
7. Brit-think, American-think.
8. Bryson’s Dictionary for Writers and Editors.
9. Collins English Dictionary.
10. Current English Usage.
11. Descriptionary; a Thematic Dictionary.
12. Divided by a Common Language.
13. Eats Shoots & Leaves.
14. English Prepositional Idioms.
15. Fowler’s Modern English Usage.
16. Hart’s Rules for Compositors and Readers.
17. Hartrampf’s Vocabulary Builder.
18. i before e (except after c).
19. Longman Companion to English Literature.
20. New Hart’s Rules.
21. New Nuttall Dictionary of English Synonyms and Antonyms.
22. Oxford Compact Thesaurus.
23. Oxford Dictionary of Current Idiomatic English.
24. Roget’s Thesaurus.
25. Shorter Oxford English Dictionary.
26. The Dictionary of Diseased English.
27. The Elements of Style

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6 thoughts on “Finding the #Write #Words? No. 28: The Emotion Thesaurus

  1. Everything I’ve heard about this book has been good, but I wanted to read your review before I took the financial plunge. I think I will, and get the second edition.

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  2. This book is what helped me write my Amanda books. I was given a copy for Christmas 2012. Best gift ever. It helps to change the story from telling to showing.

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    1. Yes, Darlene. I’m on the penultimate edit of my WIP and my next one will include reference to this book to bring more life into the story; I want tears, laughter, anger, joy!

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