Sunday, March 9, 2014

How many different ways can you say "cheerful"?


 



When I attended college in the 1980s, owning a word processor was a novelty not the norm. I typed all of my English assignments on an electric typewriter. Since I tutored English 101, I always found a fellow tutor to “critique,” an assignment. My friend would mark the paper with a red pen. I’d look over the suggestions and retype the entire paper with whatever changes I decided to make.

I also had a huge – and I mean H-U-G-E – hardback book called The Synonym Finder with a front cover that is now so worn I can no longer make out the name of the author (I sincerely apologize). The inside information has a copyright 1978 by Rodale Press, Inc. The Introduction was written by Laurence Urdang, Essex, Connecticut, July 28, 1978.

The book has 1,361 pages of synonyms with print the size of Microsoft’s Times New Roman/number 10.
By now, you’re probably wondering what motivated this post. Well, last week I was trying to find another word for “cheerful,” because if I use the word one more time in describing my heroine, my readers would be anything but "cheerful." As we’re now accustomed to doing, I scrolled over to my computer “Thesaurus.”  With a “click,” I found about a dozen or so synonyms for “cheerful.”


When none of the “cheerful” alternatives described my heroine’s mood, I pulled out The Synonym Finder from its place on the bookshelf.
There were about one hundred different words for “cheerful.”

It made me think how in the 21st century, when we depend on our computers for nearly everything, how much I still respect a H-U-G-E hardback book.


Have a good week, Everyone!




                                                       photo c/o office.microsoft.com

 


                                


13 comments:

  1. Amazing! I checked on my "trusted" WordWeb. It gave "polyannaish" and upbeat as synonyms for cheerful. Puny, to say the least.

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    1. "polyannaish" -- I'd like to see that word in a novel...thanks for stopping by, Rayne!

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  2. Lol, yup I can remember the days when I hand wrote every page...

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    1. I still make notes in a spiral notebook...the kind with the tabs...Thanks, Rashda, for visiting today!

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  3. I only use the one in the computer because I never bought a thesaurus, but I do find I'm looking up a lot more words in the dictionary.

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    1. Elementary students, today, are so used to a computer -- I don't think they know what a dictionary is. Thanks, Marion, for visiting!

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  4. Ha! I am definitely one of the people who are probably too dependent on my electronic gadgets. I have an app called Wordflex by by the Oxford dictionary that not only finds many, many synonyms, but also sounds out words for me and gives me a brief etymological definition of the word. It is also interactive and moves words around for me, making my learning of the word not just visual but also kinesthetic. It's truly amazing. And when I looked up cheerful on it, it listed off 100 words and phrases for cheerful. One was "full of beans," which I've never heard before. I love my Wordflex!

    Great post!
    -Lani

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    1. "full of beans" -- I use the phrase all the time! Thanks for stopping by, Lani!!

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  5. I wish I had this book. I'm going to Amazon now.

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    1. Vicki, I’d be curious if you found a copy. Thanks so much for visiting!

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  6. So true, I just told one of children that not all answers can be found on the internet.

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  7. Oh, I LOVE that your hardback book was better! :D I tend to use the computer exclusively at this point, but I like to believe that my good old thesaurus is better by default. ;)

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