Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Drop that Roget's

Today's Herb and Jamaal irritates me.
Herb tells son to use a thesaurus for 'another word for creator', son asks isn't that a dinosaur, Herb says it might as well be 'cause the use of them seems to be extinct'

Dammit, Herb. I am so sick of people “us[ing] a thesaurus” and plugging one word into the space of another with no regard for register (the thugs threw him off the riparian bank) or worse for syntactic constraints (“They assisted him do it.” "She desired him for help". "They aided the resistance to upgrade weapons.")

Can “mover, engenderer, originator, producer, begetter, author” be used interchangeably with “creator”? Or “architect, deviser, shaper”? Or – the ones he’ll get under its first listing – “artist, artiste, maker, master, dauber, copyist, craftsman, artisan”? It would serve you right if he put “a dreamer consenting to dream of the actual world” [Santayana] where he’d had “creator” to start with (you know, something like "The "dreamer consenting to dream of the actual world" [Santayan] of the radio was not Marconi."). Too many people use thesauruses, dammit.

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At 3:43 PM, August 07, 2013 Blogger Kevin Wade Johnson had this to say...

I always have my thesaurus handy, for when my active vocabulary isn't active enough. But I know my parts of speech, the difference between constitute, comprise, and compose...

At 8:59 PM, August 07, 2013 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

Wow, really? I couldn't write (at least not nearly as well) without a thesaurus, especially the translating. My 35¢ Roget's paperback from my youth is better than the newer editions, too!


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