Use Your Thesaurus
When I was growing up, referencing a thesaurus often seemed like too much effort. I had to find the thick, unwieldy tome, locate a word among hundreds of pages, and copy it manually onto my typewriter or by hand. Today, the process is effortless. I click onto my online dictionary, key in the word, and shazam! Within seconds, several word options magically appear.
Sometimes I use the thesaurus when a word choice seems off-target. Recent examples include:
- helping me to promulgate. . . helping me to explain
- easy to stay a juvenile. . . easy to remain a juvenile
At other times, I’ve needed a synonym to avoid repetition, such as:
- people. . . individuals
- concentrate. . . focus
- achieved. . . reached
- explain. . . describe
- better. . . preferable
I also find it helpful when I’m trying to substitute a more precise word:
- the quote says your idea. . . the quote expresses your idea
- despite the good. . . despite the admirable. . .
Finally, the thesaurus offers options for replacing weak verbs:
- babies have. . . babies possess
- anything less is. . . anything less guarantees. . .
I reference this valuable resource many times daily. In fact, I recommend that all writers use/utilize/employ/wield/take advantage of the thesaurus.
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