Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Using Your Thesaurus

Happy Wednesday, good people of the blogosphere! I'd like to talk a little today about using your thesaurus and why you should. So, grab those pens and notebooks and let's get going!
Thesaurus: the·sau·rus  /THəˈsôrəs/ Noun 1. A book that lists words in groups of synonyms and related concepts. 2. A dictionary or encyclopedia.

Have you ever been stuck in a rut trying to come up with new words for the same descriptions? Do you find yourself using a word too often and aren't sure how to find a new one? Are you unsure if you're using a word too often? There are two tools that can help you out of this conundrum: MS Word's built in thesaurus and the Word Frequency Counter (free) online.

First, copy and paste your text into the box on the Word Frequency Counter website and look at the numbers it returns. Scan down the list and keep your eyes on the larger numbers. You don't want to see too many instances of words other than a, the, and, then, etc... If you find a word you've used 77 times (or even 25 times) that's not a common word, check for variances (ing, ed, etc...). Copy and paste it/them to a notepad note.

Now open MS Word and have your find feature activated. Type in the word and click Find Next. The first instance of the offending word should be highlighted. Click off the find window (NOT off the word) and put your cursor over the highlighted word. Now, right click and hover the mouse over synonyms. A fly out menu will appear with word suggestions. HINT: If your word has ing, ed, or any other modifier, change the word back to its most basic form and try again. Choose a word from the list and change it. Do the same thing with other instances of the word.

Examples:
breathing heavily = sucking in air intensely
longing = craving, hankering, hungering
sad = depressed, gloomy, cheerless, poignant

Using a thesaurus can give your writing that extra two-punch it needs. Become familiar with this feature of word and bookmark the Word Frequency Counter so you can reference it often.

I'm going to be starting a giveaway tomorrow. It's gonna be BIG! Make sure you come on back to enter for your chance to win. It'll be a little something for readers and a little something for writers.

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

2 comments:

  1. I never heard of the word frequency counter, sounds like a great tool. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so happy I could provide you with a new tool for your writer's arsenal, Heather :) Anytime!!

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