Most helpful critical review
56 of 63 people found the following review helpful
not nearly as good as the Roget's International Thesaurus
on December 4, 2009
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!