Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Review: The Describer's Dictionary

We're creatures of habits, aren't we? Not just humans, but writers. When editing (myself or someone else), it's funny how often specific words or turns of phrase are used. When we're writing, we probably don't even recognize that they're coming, but when reading these frequently dropped words & phrases become speed bumps. Use the same words often enough and you'll catch yourself recognizing them. And if you're like me, you then turn it into a game to see how many you can find (take a shot next time you read [insert overused word or phrase here]!

And sometimes, all the Roget's Thesauruses (Thesaurusi?) aren't enough.

Enter David Grambs' The Describer's Dictionary. Whether you want to take your writing from the mundane to the literary or you're just trying to find the right word to describe a dart-shaped thing (belemnoid--but I might not use that. That's an obscure one) or a better way to say "walking aimlessly" (rambling, waddling, roving), possibly with duck-like short steps (waddling), both of which may be found in the "Walk (Gait) and Carriage" section.

I will give you fair warning, however; each section, along with a wealth of word choices, comes with excerpts from literary works that expound on that particular topic. So a quick minute to find a word may turn into a languished hour spent reading literary excerpts.

The Describer's Dictionary is available in digital and physical formats at your favorite bookseller.

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