Finding the Write #Words? No. 37: The Synonym Finder

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

Book 37: The Synonym Finder

Hardback, 1355 pages. Published in 1979 by Rodale Press, which is the edition I own. I don’t recall what I paid for it, as it was part of a collection of reference books I bought through a book club.  I can find one used version for sale at £24.95. However, a new version was published by Little, Brown in 1996. With 1361 pages, this is available in both paperback for £15.02 and hardback, as a used book, for £18.91.

This is a thesaurus without an index, so the entries are presented as they would appear in a dictionary, in alphabetical order, identifying each entry as noun, verb, adjective, adverb, etc.

Opening the book at random at pages 622/623 I find the entries begin with ‘kindliness n 1. Goodness, benevolence, compassion, warm-heartedness. See kindness (defs 1, 2).  2. good deed, good turn, act of kindness. See kindness (def. 3).’ The sample pages continue with alphabetical entries through kingly to the final full entry at the foot of page 623, ‘klutz, n. U.S. Slang. 1. Bungler, botcher, Inf. Duffer, Sl. Butcher, mismanager; fumbler, butterfingers, blunderer, stumbler, Inf. Bull in a china shop; lubber, looby, lummox, Sl. Galoot, lout, oaf.   2. blockhead, dunce, dolt, dullard, ignoramus, Sl. Yoyo, simpleton; lunkhead, bonehead, knucklehead, pinhead, numskull.’

It says something about language, and its users, that there’s such a rich source of words available as insults, I think.

I use this book when I can’t find the precise word I seek in Roget’s Thesaurus.

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 a real 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 the subject. 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.
28. The Emotion Thesaurus.
29. The Grouchy Grammarian.
30. The Last Word.
31. The Little Red Writing Book.
32. The Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors.
33. The Oxford Manual of Style.
34. The Oxford Spelling Dictionary.
35. The Penguin Rhyming Dictionary.
36. The Slang Thesaurus.

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