Friday, March 2, 2012

The only time to open a thesaurus

I have a thesaurus (Roget's 21st Century edition) but I can honestly count on one hand the number of times in a year that I've opened it to look up a word--quite unlike a dictionary, which is a few times a day it seems.

My reasoning is simple: many times the first word that comes to mind is the one I should write.  But those rare occasions when I want a word that's like something, but not that exact word, and I can't quite think of what it could be, I consult Roget's.

For example . . . is the word example.  Roget's lists some of the following: archetype, case, citation, copy, exemplar, for instance, lesson, ideal, prototype, sampling, specimen, and standard.  But if I really want to use the word example for example, then use it.

How often do you use one?

Better yet, do you even own one?  Microsoft Word has a thesaurus feature, so you might use that.

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