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ASIN: 0393078248
ID #110725
The Thinker's Thesaurus: Sophisticated Alternatives to Common Words (Expanded Second Edition)   (Rated: 18+)
Product Type: Book
Reviewer: Joy
Review Rated: E
Amazon's Price: $ 35.00
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Summary of this Book...
Who'd have thought that a law professor would put together a book to aid wordsmiths, linguists, and writers and come up with such stunning results?

Peter Meltzer, the author, says, "Conventional thesauruses rarely assist the literate writer because the synonyms they provide are so bland and simple that the synonyms offered were likely considered and rejected by the writer before even opening the theasurus."

He is so right because I am always afraid to use a synonym I don't know well ebough that I pick from Roget's. Even when I look it up in the dictionary again, most dictionaries fall short.

Some of the words in The Thinker's Thesaurus are highly sophisticated, but they are in current use in the media. Yet, what most attracted me to this book is the clarifier feature that explains the nuances between synonyms.

The problem with the earlier theasurus gatherers was that they assumed the users already knew of the nuances and they were using the words correctly. True, I try to use the words I know, but what if I don't want to use the same word twice in a paragraph for two concepts that are slightly different from each other? I found no such help in Roget's or others that came after that. Since some synonyms in the earlier theasuruses are not exactly corresponding synonyms, they may push the user toward the sin of misusing a word.

I am going to give here the example in the author's long introduction, About this Thesaurus, section:

"In a traditional thesaurus, the word tattle (on) is given as inform, squeal"

In The Thinker's Thesaurus, it is:
"tattle (on) v.i.: peach "

This is followed by a hefty newsclip from The New York Times, by Russell Baker, to demonstrate the usage of the word.

In addition, there are referrals to other synonyms with slightly different meanings.

I found this book to be highly creative, engaging, and entertaining.
This type of Book is good for...
reading from end to end or for consulting for specific words
I especially liked...
The clarifiers for each word and the examples from the current media.
The author of this Book...
"Peter E. Meltzer is a practicing attorney and adjunct law professor in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He has always been interested in lexicology, which inspired him to spend ten years writing the two editions of The Thinker's Thesaurus." According to his website.
I recommend this Book because...
it is not only informative but also entertaining. For example, it shows a word for "having a nicely proportioned rear end," which is callipygian, used by the Time magazine in referring to Jennifer Lopez.
Further Comments...
If you buy the book, the hardcover version is 672 pages. It also comes in soft cover.
I have the Kindle edition both in Kindle and on my computer's desktop, only because I have a little problem with eyesight and I need media where I can adjust the font sizes and the readability.
In any form you get this book, I'm quite sure you'll like it. *Smile*
Created Oct 10, 2010 at 7:02pm • Submit your own review...

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