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4.8 out of 5 stars
The Synonym Finder
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Showing 1-7 of 7 reviews (3 star)show all reviews
56 of 63 people found the following review helpful
on December 4, 2009
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I love thesauri. I have two editions of the "Original Roget's International Thesaurus" (RIT) [http://www.amazon.com/Rogets-International-Thesaurus-Barbara-Kipfer/dp/0060935448/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1259963225&sr=1-1], and it has been for many years my most cherished book. English is my second language.

I recently purchased the Synonym Finder (SF). I am disappointed with the SF, in comparison with the superior and richer RIT.

The most helpful review on this site says: "There are 1.5 million words in the SF [...]. That's more than 4 times the number of words in the RIT.". How misleading! It is not the number of repeated words that is important, but the number of index words and word-assoociations. The organization of the SF is linear ("dictionary form"): the same word is merely repeated over and over. The RIT is hierarchical and associative, leading the reader systematically and efficiently from perfect synonyms to "near" and "related" words, and of course includes antonyms and word-lists as well.

The SF has nearly 20,000 index words. The RIT has over 25,000. Check it out!

Try to find index words like "at first sight", "bring together", "consequently", "downplay", "easy on the eye", or "fine-tune" in the SF. And these are just a few examples.

But the big difference between the linear SF and the by-category RIT is not just the number of index-words, but the natural way one searches for a synonym associately. For each index word, the RIT will recommend perhaps only ten alternatives, but each of these is an entire category, leading to 20, 50 or 200 more. The SF, on the other hand, will just provide a linear list of 5-15 other words - invariably a poorer set of choices.

Of all the dictionary-format thesauri, the SF is probably the best. But it consistently pales next to the Original RIT. Three stars, not because it is a bad thesaurus in any way, but because if I were to give it 5 stars, I would have to give the RIT 10 stars!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on May 20, 2002
Format: Hardcover
you will still need a regular thesaurus. Why? This book does not list any antonyms, which I found to be a huge drawback. If you don't need the antonyms, this book is for you. It is probably the most extensive listing of synonyms you will find.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 27, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I'm a writer. Words matter to me, and I take pleasure in revising and polishing until each word delivers the right point and emphasis, and a look for sentences in which the sounds echo the sense. I've tried many resources including "What's What," and "The Ultimate Visual Dictionary." I've found no one resource fully satisfactory. I want a word finder that is complete and very fast. I don't want to interrupt my thinking with word searches.

The strength of this book is its completeness and directness. However, that completeness comes at a cost; the print is small and the paper thin. When I turn from writing at my computer, I need to change glasses to read the print in Synonym Finder, and even then I find myself also reaching for a magnifier. Fumbling with thin paper is also slow. There are no thumb tabs for easy access as on my edition of Roget.

There is also no categorizing of meanings as in my old, hardcover Roget Thesausus, so sometimes I need to look up several words before I find what I want. In the end, it takes as long to find the word in Rodale as in Roget. There, all the words I need appear together, though I must start looking at the index. In Synonym Finder there is no index. The search is direct, but I need to look in multiple places.

For those who write at a computer as I do, the ideal solution would be an electronic word finder. There is one on my computer, and it is always the first place I turn because it is instant. It distracts less from the thought processes of writing and polishing. However, it is way too small to provide the richness of vocabulary that I seek. I've looked for other electronic word finders without success. This book would be perfect if it were electronic.. How could it be that nobody has filled this need? As it is, I'm still using my Roget and waiting for the electronic version I dream of.
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on November 24, 2014
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This book is huge! It isn't good for a young elementary student (it was recommended). But it is thorough.
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on August 1, 2014
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I opted for a used one and find it's somewhat outdated, but good enough.
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on August 5, 2014
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
as advertised
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on July 25, 2014
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
No comment
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