Why thesaurus isn’t always a writer’s best friend
When I first discovered thesaurus, I was sure I’d struck gold. It made my writing and me seem smarter, and nobody really understood all the ‘big words’ I used.
The problem was that I didn’t either.
Although a good thesaurus is inordinately cardinal for cardinal writing, however, using it to perform ostentatious grandiosity of your lexicon will make you look more vacuous than astute. You see what I mean? Neither did that sentence make much sense nor did you understand anything.
If you still think that using the thesaurus regularly is imperative, here are a list of reasons why you might want to reconsider:
1. Could mess up your context
Words such as ‘nonplussed’ and ‘bewildered’ are often used interchangeably, which might pass off as acceptable while verbally conversing with someone. In the case of text however, such context is not easily conveyed to the reader and might be read incorrectly.
For example, ‘muddled’ and ‘bemused’ are often listed as synonyms – but their meanings are quite different when used in a sentence. The Cambridge Dictionary defines muddled as ‘badly organized or confusing’, while ‘bemused’ would mean slightly confused. Therefore, saying ‘I was muddled by her sudden outburst’ doesn’t mean the same thing as ‘I was bemused at her sudden outburst’.
2. Makes your writing seem heavier than needed
You’re not Shakespeare, and nobody in 2017 expects you to be. So swapping commonly used words just to make your document better might be a risk that’s just not worth it.
For instance, saying “She’s a frolicsome girl” as opposed to saying “She’s a cheerful girl” will only make your writing seem unauthentic and pretentious. There’s no need to pepper your document with ‘big words’ to sound brainy as long as your point is getting across.
3. Doesn’t work with technical jargon
This might seem strangely obvious, but a lot of compulsive thesaurus users often end up using it even while working on technical documents. There are no replacements for botanical names or specific machinery out there people!
4. The Illusion Of A Better Vocabulary
Sure, you’re learning more words. Your vocabulary is expanding in a contorted manner, however. By learning of these words as synonyms, you’re prone to using it the same way as the original word and not really learning of the different nuances under which they were supposed to be used – leading you straight back to problem number one on this list.
5. That’s the way the creativity crumbles
No, seriously. With all the definitions jumbled in your head as well as the ease of knowing that thesaurus is just a click away – your brain gets lulled into a false sense of security. Before you know it, you’re reaching for that reference book without even thinking about it for a second – or finding yourself unsure of what to do without it.
So stop for a minute, and think about whether you really need that word. If you do, exercise caution with what you use and ensure that it actually conveys what you’re trying to say. As for the rest of your words, make the smart choice and choose PaperTrue to have them perfected!
4.5 out of 5 on Google reviews and 4.6 out of 5 on Reviews.co.uk.
I was happy to receive both a tracked and a clean version of the edited document.
I will happily recommend PaperTrue to my friends, and I will myself come back on a later occasion.
Amazing service and a welcoming chat on the website! I love the detailed comments and feedback on the tracked document :) They really did a good job at making my debut novel a lot better while still keeping my style of writing!
Much love from Denmark <3