Sunday, February 12

You Mustn't Canoodle with the Thesaurus

There is an itch which many writers have. It is hard to resist. Unless it is intentional, we are irked by repetition. When we see the same word too many times in one paragraph or page, we cringe. This impulsion to be rid of repeated words and phrases can turn a peeve into a plague.

Why does the thesaurus seem so appealing? I always associate it with my days in primary school. Back then, we were learning words and how to say things in different ways. The thesaurus was out friend and we were encouraged to consult it.

"Thesaurus" sounds like the name of a dinosaur. Not a carnivorous one but a grand herbivore. Thanks to the internet and word processors, he isn't restricted to the pages of a book. That harmless but huge dino is always available.

Only...is he so harmless? Do we rely on him too much?

Wait! Before you criticize, there are times when we need the thesaurus to conjure forth words which have escaped us. They are words we have always intended to place on the page but for all the brain squinting, they don't come. We sit there in agony, searching.

Sometimes we need assistance. Occasionally we misplace our words. Once in a while we need to...ugh, it's happening again.

Don't canoodle with the thesaurus. He may be your friend but let your dependance lie with you. Don't let him snatch your fresh thoughts away and replace them because you think it will make for a better result?

Do you have a compulsion to seek the thesaurus?

No comments: