The Right Word For Every Purpose

Thesaurus cartoon

Whether speaking, writing a business letter, an article or a novel, finding the correct word that captures exactly what you mean is important.

Many software programs have a thesaurus, and using a search engine can also help locate some of the possible words you might want to use, but as a novelist, I want the exact word that captures the essence of what I mean.

There is a difference between walking into a room and gliding into a room. These words create different images. Walking leaves no word picture. Gliding, on the other hand, might depict an attractive woman dressed in high fashion attire sweeping into a room.

The same happens in other situations.  Addressing inappropriate behavior can be stated with a variety of meaning. Example: We will not condone your behavior rather. Or what about: We will not tolerate your behavior. These two sentences though similar are different. Condone means to accept or allow. It is a milder rebuttal to the word tolerate. Tolerate has a bite to it and adds the sense of ramifications.

Which word to you mean? 

This is where a good thesaurus comes in. All writers struggle to use the perfect word for their books.  We also spend large amounts of time trying to find another word to use rather than repeating the same word in an article or novel.  We need synonyms and plenty of them.

I have had software called Bookshelf that provides definitions, an almanac, encyclopedia, quotes and much more, but one of the best and most useful books I have found to resolve my “finding the right word” problem is a book called, The Synonym Finder by J.I Rodale. It is the largest and most comprehensive thesaurus in print. My version is from 1978, but it offers  many choices that also narrow down to very specific uses of the words.

The book has:

  • More than 100,000 synonyms
  • Simple, alphabetical arrangement
  • Subdivisions of the same word used in different parts of speech with subtle differences
  • Includes thousands of new words and expressions, entering the language in recent years
  • Clearly labeled slang and informal words and expressions
  • Minimum cross-references

I purchased My  The Synonym Finder on and am so happy I did.  If you don’t find this book, look for another comprehensive book of synonyms. You’ll never be sorry.

(c) Gail Gaymer Martin 2015

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  1. Kathy Beliveau October 15, 2015 at 8:38 am #

    Thanks so much for recommending this book. I have a good Thesauras and am in it frequently, but this might be a great addition thanks Gail

    • Gail Gaymer Martin October 16, 2015 at 2:38 pm #

      Glad this gave you something to think about. I have a helpful Thesaurus online but this one gives the slightest differences between words and it’s so helpful. Plus it offers many choices with each word so it can be perfect or almost perfect.

  2. Jo Huddleston October 17, 2015 at 1:54 pm #

    I have The Synonym Finder and it is fabulous! I got mine used from Amazon for a great deal; doesn’t have a mark on or in it.

  3. Leanna January 8, 2016 at 4:46 am #

    Hi there, its good paragraph concerning media print, we all be aware of media is a
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