Customer Reviews: The New Comprehensive American Rhyming Dictionary
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on September 13, 2005

It has been my good fortune to songwrite with many of the world's greatest songwriters, and to have had a bit of commercial success. So, for what it's worth, I offer the following review of this dictionary, plus a few other recommendations for aspiring lyricists and songwriters.

I own eight or nine rhyming dictionaries, and am constantly on the lookout for others, and basically, they all pretty much suck compared to this one. You certainly don't need any of them but this one, and I am continually surprised when browsing through bookshops to see many of those other lousy books on the shelves, but not Sue Young's excellent reference book. I don't know what the explanation for that is, but whatever it is, it has nothing to do with quality. If something has superseded it, I don't know about it.

Young's book has four main strengths which put it above the pack:

1.) It simply has a greater number of rhyming words than other dictionaries;

2.) It includes rhyming phrases, e.g., when you go to look for rhymes for "ground" you will find (amongst single words) phrases like "merry go round", "lost and found", etc. This feature is a valuable rarity.

3.) It arranges the rhyming options under each suffix in groups according to numbers of syllables: first there are the single syllable options, then the two syllable options, and so on. Believe it or not, I have a number of rhyming dictionaries which instead list options in alphabetical order (mixing up one, two, three, and four syllable options), obviously a cumbersome and time-wasting arrangement.

4.) Unlike those found in most other dictionaries, Young's rhyming lists include slang words/phrases, contractions, acronyms, obscenities, abbreviations, etc. Beat poets to Broadway lyricists to Ogden Nash humourists to rock writers will all appreciate these.

Perhaps I might also add that if you are an aspiring songwriter who wishes to enjoy commercial success (i.e., getting on the radio in whatever genre, or in broadway shows, etc.), Young's book could help form a kind of "starter reference package". The components would include:

1.) The New Comprehensive American Rhyming Dictionary by Sue Young

2.) Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus by Barbara Ann Kipfer (this is the best one out there).

3.) Any or all of the Sheila Davis lyric writing books, especially, "Successful Lyric Writing: A Step-by-Step Course and Workbook". (Davis' books are clinical and mechanical, but you need to know song mechanics in order to be a consistently successful songwriter. Her books are really good for this, though won't be appreciated by those certain that each aspect of a song is dictated by heavenly muses rather than largely being the product of conscious and unconscious mental effort).

4.) If you would like an in-depth, "artistic" perspective on songwriting by a successful songwriter, add to this list the Jimmy Webb book, "Tunesmith: Inside the Art of Songwriting". (This one isn't necessary, it just may be of interest to some people).

I should add that most of the other "How to Write a Song!" type books out there are total garbage, so I wouldn't even bother with them.

But by far the best thing aspiring songwriters can do is deconstruct their own favourite songs to see why and how they work, and then incorporate what they discover into their own catalogue of creative knowledge.

Anyway, bravo to Sue Young for coming up with the best rhyming dictionary out there.

I hope this review has helped someone. Good luck.
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on June 21, 1999
I write song lyrics and poetry, and this is the fourth copy of this book I've bought. I keep wearing out my copies because I use them so much. Also, I like to have a copy at work, one at home and one at my vacation cabin. This is the easiest to use rhyming dictionary I've found, and I like the slang expressions it includes.
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on January 1, 2000
I don't usually write rhymed poetry; however, when I do, this book is invaluable. The slang expressions are especially appreciated. I've bought copies for several of my writer friends and they tell me they don't know how they've ever done without it. Buy it now!
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on March 20, 2012
This book is a "Must Have" if you love rhyming or writing lyrics that rhyme. A lot of people have a mentality that words that are spelled alike, sound alike. Which is very true in most cases. So naturally when you have a word that you wanna rhyme, you think of words with the same spelling like "Wrong and Song". But this rhyming dictionary teaches you to associate words by sound, not spelling. Like "Choke and Cloak"! It even includes catch phrases that go well with certain words like the word "Safari" rhymes with the phrase "Safe Than Sorry". It makes writing so much easier when you merge words by sound and not spelling because writing lyrics in hip hop is not just about writing lyrics that rhyme. Your vocabulary needs to be versatile and "Comprehensive"! Things that you say need to be diverse and clever at the same time. I'm lovin this book for that fact alone. Just to prove a small point on how it can help you with your writing skills. I was trying to finish the third verse of a song I was working on and had "Writers Block". I pulled this baby out and finished it in ten minutes. It's like a suggestion box I can always refer to no matter what subject I'm thinking of. Susan Young really put her heart into this one. It doesn't include every sound ending of all the vowels, but it covers most of them. It is very fun and educational learning the "sound endings". I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys poetry or rhyming as much as I do.You can't go wrong! Also super fast shipping! That's what's up! Check out ROB SOLO (The Weed Album)(MP3) right here on Amazon! It will show you how powerful this book can make your lyrics! And remember to keep rhyming! Peace out!
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on February 21, 2001
I bought this, not too long ago, for a friend of mine who is a high school English teacher. She raves about how helpful it is to her in class and how much the kids enjoy using it.
She has stressed its value so much that I now feel it is a must for my reference library. After all we've all been there, trying to find a rhymne for that odd word. It's like trying to think of a synonym something and there not a thesaurus to be found.
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on September 28, 2005
I teach a college course in songwriting, and in preparing to teach the course did an extensive review of many rhythming dictionaries. This one is by far the best, for the reasons other reviewers have stated.

If you buy one rhyming dictionary, make it this one. It's the one I use.
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on March 2, 2010
This book was recommended to me by Alan Katz at a children's writing conference. I had previously been using internet sites for rhyming assistance! I took his advice and after a few days of getting used to using the book, it is now my constant companion. I didn't think that I would prefer it to the sites I had been using, but it wins....hands down! I highly recommend it!
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on October 26, 2013
For years, I struggled through the Clement Wood Rhyming Dictionary, thinking that it was the best. Eventually, I grew tired of digging through geologic terms that end in "ite" that no lyricist in their right mind would ever use. Then about six years ago, I ditched my Clement Wood for this Sue Young and Merriam Webster. Guess what? The Merriam Webster rarely even got opened once I found out about the joys of this one. I have physically worn this one out and just replaced it from Amazon. For any lyricist that has a problem using this one, my advice is to just hang it up. What makes this one so good is her use of common phrases that embellish unappealing monosyllable rhymes into worthwhile rhymes.

Now for some tips. What I do when I get a good line is to write down all possible rhymes from this dictionary. If not enough candidates appear, then rewrite those lines that need a rhyme. If too many candidates appear, then try arranging them in order of preference (which is a VERY good thing). I have only been doing this for 40 years, so I ought to know! This is also why I think that rap is crap! One can never find the best possible rhyme off the cuff. Just a little bit of use from this book and folks will think that you are a freaking genius!
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on February 23, 2011
This is the best rhyming dictionary that I've ever had. Initially it took some time to become familiar with it, and I love the format of going by sounds, and accent points. This is good for not only those who like to write poetry or jingles, but also increase word knowledge vocabulary. This will help in speech writing, essays, reports, etc. I recomment it for all ages and, and especially High School and College students, including thei instructors.
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on March 15, 2011
I've owned the rhyming dictionary for years and bought this copy as a gift for a nephew interested in learning the craft. Anyone and everyone who wishes to delve into the art of lyric writing should make this book one of their first purchases. It not only helps you when you are stuck or fishing for the perfect rhyme but it also helps a writer more fully understand the difference between perfect and near or close rhymes. I highly recommend this dictionary and believe it worth every penny in cost.
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