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4.9 out of 5 stars
The Synonym Finder
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on February 21, 2004
"The Synonym Finder" is a thesaurus in dictionary form. There are no word definitions or pronunciation guides. Words are listed alphabetically, as they would be in a dictionary, and an exhaustive list of synonyms is given for each definition of every word. Clarifications such as "informal", "slang", "archaic", etc. are provided where appropriate. There are 1.5 million words in "The Synonym Finder", including variations on the same root word. That's more than 4 times the number of words in "Roget's International Thesaurus". If you simply want to find synonyms, this is the book for you. It isn't as versatile as a thesaurus that is organized by subject, but it's more to the point and easier to use if you are simply looking for word alternatives. Roget's is a better research tool, but this is a better and far more efficient synonym finder, and I think that students will prefer it to Roget's. My one pet peeve about the book is that the hardback edition doesn't have a dust jacket. The publisher may have thought a dust jacket would just be a nuisance on a reference book, but I would have preferred one for protection. I only wish "The Synonym Finder" were also available as software, as I have limited space for books within arm's reach of my computer. I use "The Synonym Finder" more frequently than my dictionary, Roget's Thesaurus, and Random House Word Menu combined. I think any writer will find it indispensable, and it would make great gift for middle school, high school, and college students.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 1, 2004
The fifth ace for your junior high/high school/college/ student - will help them write better papers faster as they get smarter - because vocabulary is the develop-able skill that elevates the GREAT STUDENTS from the Near Great. And you can't buy IQ or creativity in a book. You learn a lot just browsing it - it's fun to look up the words in a pre-1961 dictionary (when they started dumbing down) - what IS the difference betweeh true/real/honest/factual... or smart/brilliant/intelligent... or funny/witty/comical/jocular/hilarious...
you won't need anything else except a pre-1961 dictionary to go along with this on your reference shelf! I find the paperback pages heftier and sturdier than the hardcover and more able to withstand the frequent use this will get. That's my only criticism - I wish Rodale would make a sturdier hardcover, never mind the bulk or cost - I'd pay a pretty penny for a sturdy hardcover, even leatherbound collectible.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 26, 2003
If you are a heavy writer--buy the hardcover version. The paperback will soon be destroyed through constant use. The best thesaurus ever!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 29, 2003
It's not expensive and it's easy to replace, but still, it's on the short list of things I would think of grabbing if this building were on fire.
Without this book at my side these last 15 years, I may not have been able to articulate my way into a good school, a rewarding career, or - dare I say - a wonderful marriage.
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This is the thesaurus (for that is what "The Synonym Finder" is, essentially) to which I normally make first use when I need to find a word to substitute for another for greater clarity, to avoid repetitiousness, and similar needs in writing in English. Rodale's work, whether in the 1978 or earlier or subsequent editions, is not necessarily the most scholarly or learnèd of such works, and its alphabetical dictionary arrangement of entries is less academically ideal (but, really, so much handier) than the logical and associative format of a classed thesaurus (which philologists prefer), but I have found "The Synonym Finder" to be the most practical thesaurus, as well as the most compendious, of those (many!) similar works which I use or, in the past, which I formerly used to use.

Second resort, in the infrequent instances where Rodale does not quite give what I need, is the classic 1978 hardbound revised, updated "Library Edition" of "The New Roget's Thesaurus in Dictionary Form", as edited by Norman Lewis (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1978).

With these two works at hand near my desk and also duplicated at my computer, I only seldom find that I need the many other thesauri and dictionaries of synonyms that I also happen to possess.
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I've had Rodale's Synonym Finder in my reference library for over ten years, and find that I use it at least ten times a month. There is simply no other book in the English language that is more comprehensive (the number of pages is an obvious give away) nor more helpful. As a lover of language, I frequently examine other such books, and always find that they come up short against this exhaustive resource. What makes this particular reference so valuable is that it recognizes each word usually has more than one meaning, and when it gives a synonym, it is by meaning, not simply by word. Moreover, the reference gives various examples when a word is used as an adjective or adverb, and either as a noun or a verb. It's this breadth and depth that makes this particular synonym finder so extraordinarily superior to the competition. My only lament is that it doesn't include antonymns, but then the book would probably be too large and too cumbersome. As it stands now, the words are clearly displayed, and the synonyms - in all their variety - are abundant.
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on July 16, 1998
This is a great work, but unfortunately Rodale has focused on personal health and forgotten about word health, so vital to our ability to communicate. I wish that someone could provide an electronic desktop or pocket edition of Rodale's synonym finder in conjunction with a dictionary. The desktop models available by Franklin are antiquated and too limited. Additionally, Microsoft's thesaurus used in its Word program is also too limited and their supplier Alki seems to have no interest in expanding the add-on program that increases the number of synonyms by approximately 140,000 but when comparing a simple word like large, even with the add-on by Alki, there are only 16 synonyms available in comparison to 156 synonyms available for the same word in The Synonym Finder. Additionally, The Synonym Finder was published in 1978 and revised in January 1979, almost twenty years ago. While I realize that firms gravitate towards the areas where they can make the most money, i! ! t is unfortunate that nothing has been done to update this fine work. Look also at the other publications, book or electronic, such as Webster, and see how limited their products are as well. If you have some ideas, I would lend a willing ear. At a time when President Clinton's misguided focus is on classroom size, he and others should be focusing on the real problems of education and increasing rather than decreasing the educational requirements. Don't send our children out into society and expect that society will provide the skills that educators have not taught. Will society correct the problem or will drugs, alcohol, sex, violence, divorce and broken homes, and the power that money can buy lead us to equate our values based on an addiction of material possessions and the death of our true freedom; when is enough, enough? Help renew our focus and save our children from the constraints of materialistic greed and support the expansion of their knowledge, useful skills, ! ! and chance for lifelong happiness and the respect of others! . Thanks for the opportunity to vent my frustration with the publisher, education, and those that administrate in such a meek manner.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 26, 2009
I've regretted a few online book purchases in the past. This is not one of them. Skimming through this book is not only a great way to super charge your growing vocabulary for intelligent conversation and writing but it more importantly and practically serves as an indispensable tool for grasping that perfect word for poetry, prose and all in between. 5 stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 31, 2000
I inherited my copy from my dad, who was a playwright - and I find it invaluable for my own writing - prose as well as songs. The Synonym Finder is without peer: unequalled, matchless, unparalleled, unsurpassed, second to none, unrivaled, incomparable, superlative, inimitable, paramount, supreme, preeminent, consummate, first-class, A Number One, PERFECT!
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on August 26, 2001
When I bought the 1978 edition twenty years ago or so (am I really that old?), I just needed something to help me with my writing in college. To me it was just a thesaurus, and I needed a thesaurus. Over the years I have bought and used other thesauri and have discovered that none helps me find that elusive word as well as The Synonym Finder. I am not a writer, but I do value the quality of my writing. Frequently I find that I want to say something a certain way. I know there is a word that expresses the subtleties of what I want to say, but I cannot think of the word. I have found that the only book which can lead me to that word nearly every time is The Synonym Finder. No Thesaurus has ever been so consistently helpful to me. Recently I have found a stiff competitor (thesaurus.com) that works very well, but it is not a book. For anyone who wants a source that you can hold in your hand and find that word. This is your book.
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