Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Visual Thesaurus

If you're a writer, you have to check out this tool. It's mesmerizing, maybe dangerously so.

Just imagine an interactive thesaurus...oh, forget it. I don't want to bother trying to explain. Just click on the link and you'll get a demonstration. (Java must be enabled in your browser.)

I hate thesaurus authors. I'm not one. I find that I have a wide enough vocabulary for most of the stories that I write, partly because I try to write within my own frame of reference as much as possible. But there's always some word that gets only as far as the tip of my tongue and just won't form, thesaurus to the rescue.

I also find that learning new words is more fun in a thesaurus than in a dictionary, because it's topical and not alphabetic and because it links parts of speech better, but this is also what makes a thesaurus so dangerous. An ideal online thesaurus would have a timer that starts ticking as soon as you open it.

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