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Readers` Reviews

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Arrived on time as posted date arrival by the store as I bought this brand new. The book though thick and bit big but is not heavy.. most of all the prints are big that you don't need an eyeglass to find words. The main word you look are bolder in print that makes it easy to find its synonyms under it. I recommend this thesaurus and the store. Thank you.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
This particular Thesaurus has little to recommend it. In fact, it does not even recommend itself. In the introduction by Ben Zimmer, he seems to go to great lengths to explain why you do not need a print thesaurus and should be using an online thesaurus, preferably Oxford's online subscription version. After looking through this particular thesaurus, I would agree that this thesaurus is little better than your basic word processor thesaurus. Some of the "features" include 'word clouds.' For example, there is a word cloud for words that are used with the word 'low.' This way you can easily see what words are most frequently combined with the word 'low.' I see very little value in this feature other than to take up space.

Another feature are the quotes that randomly appear using a word. Below the entry for 'lottery' you can find such sage advice as this: "Son, if you really want something in life, you have to work for it. Now quiet, they're about to announce the lottery numbers." ~Homer Simpson from The Simpsons TV Show. That will certainly be helpful in grasping the nuances of the word 'lottery.' Many of the quotes are just like that. Perhaps they editors were providing entertainment for the feeble minded. They do provide short phrases next to the words to show usage.

If you want an excellent Thesaurus, one that you will choose to go to instead of an online search, get Roget's International Thesaurus, 7th Edition. Even though the Oxford calls Roget's quaint, I find Roget's two step process allows me not just to find the exact word, but more importantly, expands my understanding of the nuances of the words. It continues to educate me, rather than dumb down like one particular thesaurus I am returning. Not only is the Roget's better, it is almost half the price.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
caroline sheedy
Looks good in the library but almost useless as a thesaurus. I got this to replace an old Roget's thesaurus (1963) that was simply out of date. While the book is beautiful and the print very easy to read, this thesaurus only provides synonyms for the primary and secondary definitions of a word. I do a lot of technical writing and this thesaurus is simply not up to the task.

At first I was ready to blame the dictionary style instead of the older word index/category style but the more I try to use this beast the less I believe this is really the case. As an alternative, I would suggest the Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus (larger format). I have been using the two side by side and have come to the conclusion that the this provides much better coverage and many better options.
Planets in Transit: Life Cycles for Living :: Death and Brain Surgery - Do No Harm - Stories of Life :: A New Player's Guide to Preparing for Street Fighter 5 :: Awakening Love in Deeply Traumatized Children - Building the Bonds of Attachment :: I am Haunted: Living Life Through the Dead
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This thesaurs means it when it comes to "Writer's", not too technical nor comprehensive like Roget's 21st, but it is the MOST insightful, impactful, and useful thesaurus that I have ever used. One of my favorite features is the Word Specctrum, a grandiose display of how words have shades of meaning, and the Notes under some words, they teach you how to be precocious as a writer, not spitting long pladitudinous phrases left and right.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jolanta jolanciukas
I like this thesaurus. I've recently returned to school after a long absence, and I quickly realized that I needed more than my trusty Webster's and the thesaurus from my computer word program. The American Writer's Thesaurus does what any standard thesaurus can do, but it has style and panache. Since I was unable to see the book before I purchased it, I relied on the reviews for guidance. Some of the commentary left me with the impression that I would be wading through essays before I found what I wanted. But I took a chance and I'm glad I did.

The essays are mere paragraphs interspersed throughout the book on an as needed basis and serve to expand the usage of a word. It's in alphabet format and contains several features such as The Right Word, Word Spectrums and Word Banks. These features are lists of words or short paragraphs that elaborate on commonly misused words. One last handy reference is the Understanding Grammar section at the back of the book. This is a super little primer or memory jogger for the rules of English.

As the author points out, a thesaurus does not replace a dictionary. But this book does make it easier to understand the connation of a word. I think that if you are looking to expand your word usage, this book is an excellent reference book that's interesting and not staid. I purchased it along with S.I. Hayakawa's "Choose the Right Word." Hayakawa's book is a fabulously helpful, interesting and easy to read reference that offers an in depth description of the subtle, and sometimes not so subtle, differences between synonym choices. With considerably more depth, but fewer entries, it is an excellent companion to "The American Writer's Thesaurus."

If you're looking to replace your worn out thesaurus, or to include an alphabet style reference, or you'd just like to add some interest to your reference book collection, this thesaurus would be an excellent pick. Preference is an individual choice and not every reference book is right for every person, but this book is perfect for me. Are you sending a child to college? Please consider Christine A. Lindberg's "American Writer's Thesaurus", S.I. Hayakawa's "Choose the Right Word," and a good dictionary as necessary tools for success.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
pamela springer
This is a fantastic reference book for writers. For once the blurb on the back is correct--it is "the perfect tool for finding the perfect word." An added bonus is the 240 mini-essays on favorite words by noted writers such as Zadie Smith, David Foster Wallace, and Simon Winchester. Highly recommended.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Gustave Flaubert said, "All talent for writing consists after all of nothing more than choosing words." And how can that be wrong. Even as I write this review, I am only choosing words. But to say exactly what I mean is sometimes difficult. I want to say something, I know there is a word that expresses exactly what I want to say, but I can't think of it. Hence a thesaurus.

This new thesaurus carries things a lot further. Rather than just providing a list of alternative words, here are real-life example sentences, explicit distinctions for the most commonly used synonyms and many additional features. As an example, here is the entry for the word dramatize:

dramatize verb 1. the novel was dramatized TURN INTO A PLAY/MOVIE/MOTION PICTURE/FILM, adapt for the stage/screen.

2. the tabloids dramatized the event EXAGGERATE, overdo, overstate, hyperbolize, magnify, amplify, inflate; sensationalize, embroider, color, aggrandize, embellish, elaborate; informal blow up (out of all proportion).
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
The Oxford American Writer's Thesaurus is an invaluable authority for writers! I have just completed my first book, and I would not be as proud of the finished work were it not for the help I received from this volume.Not only does it help in selecting the "perfect" word for a particular phrase or sentence,it provides tips and other valuable information on the word so that you will remember it if you need it again,but since there are so many words to express your creative ideas as a writer,it is unlikely that you will have to use the same word repeatedly.
I love this volume!I would not think of writing anything of substance without referring to it, now that I have found it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I have used a number of Thesaurus versions in the past, but have never encounterd one so complete and helpful. Since my first published book, I have been studying a number of books to improve my writing skills. Too often prose becomes boring to editors, agents and readers alike. The Oxford American Writer's Thesaurus has helped me keep my work fresh and non-repetitive. I would have paid twice the price. Every writer should own one.Tommie & Grope
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
michele isabel
This Thesaurus was exactly what I needed in order to awaken the sleeping but educated mind. I really like the way it is set-up and the ease of use. I bought it specifically to help me with my book and it has motivatd this old brain back into the use and grace of words. In the market for a great thesaurus....its this one.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
andrea westphal
If you want a thesaurus, I recommend "The Synonym Finder" (if you want an alphabetical thesaurus) and "Bartlett's Roget's Thesaurus" (if you want a traditional thesaurus arranged by subject).

If you want a book that explains the differences between synonyms, I recommended the Merriam-Webster "Dictionary of Synonyms" or "Choose the Right Word."

However, in the unlikely event that you want a thesaurus interspersed with essays by supposed writing experts, you might enjoy this book. I'd like to point out, though, that all thesauruses are for writers, and calling this a "writer's thesaurus" doesn't make it any more so.

All in all, this is an average thesaurus, but the essays are a distraction and their tone is too personal and opinionated for a reference work. Because of this, I don't think this book will stand the test of time.
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