Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Synonym-Finder

Visual Thesaurus ~ More Than Fancy Diagrams

I’ve talked about the Visual Thesaurus before in this blog and even recommended you pay $20/year to unlock all its features; but, you can still get a lot of value even if you can’t afford the subscription.

If you’ve never seen the results of using this tool, here’s the image for the word “blogarrow blogimage

And, clicking on any word in that tree will immediately show the diagram for that selection—a visual Word-Journey...

journalimagearrow2Here’s the tree when I click on “journal” in the diagram for “blog”.

whiteIn the previous post, Blooming Words ! ~~ A Thesaurus That Offers Articles On Writing :-), I listed some of the incredible features of the site and directed readers to some of their free articles on writing.

I want to do that again—more free articles on writing, with just a brief excerpt to get you interested :-)

Flash, Gleam, Glint, Sparkle: McPhee, Woolf, and Words:

“In an essay on writing in last week’s The New Yorker, John McPhee describes how, while editing a fourth draft, he draws boxes around words he wants to replace. ‘The final adjustments may be small-scale’, he writes, ‘but they are large to me, and I love addressing them.'”

Always Never Something: Eliminating Five Overused Words:

“…two examples, typical of students’ use of always in writing:

‘My mom is always telling me to go to bed earlier.’

‘I’ve always wanted to be a fashion designer.’

“Really? Your mother is perpetually, without ceasing, telling you to go to bed earlier? What a pain. Or, you’ve wanted to be a fashion designer since the dawn of time, even pre-dating your birth? Wow.”

Towards a Fuller Understanding of Usage:

“I remember when my family got WordPerfect 5.2 for Windows, roughly twenty years ago. I was excited because it came with a grammar checker called Grammatik, and I, as an aspiring young writer, thought it would help me improve my writing. But I soon came to find its advice more frustrating than helpful. I particularly remember it telling me not to use towards because it was British; I was supposed to use toward instead.

“I was perplexed….”

Writing Packed with Life:

“Yes, it’s been said before, but let’s say it again: writing lives on the life writers pack into their writing. Get only a little life into your poetry or prose, and your writing will soon starve, dwindle, and die. Get a lot of life into your poetry or prose, and your writing may live forever.”

And, to bring this post about Visual Thesaurus full-circle, A Grave Case of Synonym-itis:

“Some writers go to great lengths to find synonyms for things or acts that they have to refer to repeatedly in a story. They seem to have the idea that this adds flavor and depth and style to their writing. Actually, it can add a thick layer of B.S. and to demonstrate quite clearly why supposed synonyms are not necessarily fungible.”

Plus, to close the circle yet tighter:

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