Day 9 – my friend the thesaurus

31 Aug

I have become a big fan of the thesaurus over my many years of writing university papers and now in my personal writing. Sometimes I just can’t think of the best word to convey my message and need some outside assistance. Kind of like phoning a friend in the writing world. Or, truth be told, I just want to sound more intelligent. I used to think this was cheating, but today, much to my delight, I read a little tidbit that a thesaurus is a writer’s best friend. For some reason I just assumed that writers must know all the words. Their origin. Their definitions. Their synonyms. Their antonyms. Their word friends. Their word enemies. And their favourite colour.

But alas, this is simply not the case. I can stop memorizing my dictionary now and reach for my thesaurus without shame. This is good news.

I think the trick with a thesaurus though, is to not over use it. A writer doesn’t want their readers to know that a thesaurus has been invited to the party only to become the awkward guest that everyone wants to leave. No, the use of a thesaurus must be subtle yet captivating, like that mysterious party guest that no one knows where they came from but everyone wants to know more of.

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