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Jeruba's avatar

Does anyone besides me use a thesaurus any more?

Asked by Jeruba (55733points) November 11th, 2021

In book form? or even online?

I don’t know about anyone else, but the discovery of Roget’s Thesaurus on my mother’s bookshelf as a youngster was exciting. I loved to just read the lists and see how they congregated around a concept and illuminated its aspects without ever being truly interchangeable.

Now I use it a lot when words I know start to slip away. I used to use it to reach out into broader expanses. Now I use it to reach inward and refresh memory. And I still like the hard-cover book, with its brilliant organization, better than the version, whose main virtue is ease of access.

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20 Answers

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I look up words on my phone multiple times each week, and the resulting information includes synonyms that I always peruse. Strictly speaking, I’m not using a thesaurus, but I’m digesting the same information.

canidmajor's avatar

I am usually too lazy to get up to get the paper copy, but I will use the online version as I compose my deathless (everlasting, eternal, imperishable) prose on the computer.

If hand writing something, I usually have the paper copy at my elbow.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Last time I used a thesaurus was to look up another name for thesaurus. It starts with an I.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I do. Online tho. My hard copy thesaris fell apart years ago.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Lexicon is another word for thesaurus. So I guess that today was the last time that I used a thesaurus.

snowberry's avatar

I do from time to time..

JLoon's avatar


Becase when the last online dissent is crushed by corrupt government censors, and the final connections between real humans and the real world are sold out to the corporate “MetaVerse”, there will still be a few almost forgotten places where printed books exist.

Maybe a thesaurus, maybe Shakespeare, maybe an encyclopedia, maybe the Upanishads or Maya Angelou.

Let’s hope so.

kritiper's avatar

I do, from time to time. Book form, one Mom and Dad had.

filmfann's avatar

Certainly! Absolutely! Exactly! Unquestionably! Positively! Assuredly! Undoubtedly!

JLeslie's avatar

Online I do, absolutely. Such a useful writing tool. Not every day or every week, but I utilize a thesaurus or look up synonyms in the dictionary when needing a word.

If I were writing formal essays and novels I would be using a thesaurus all of the time.

ragingloli's avatar

Yes, sometimes, when I want to sound fancy.

cookieman's avatar

I’ve had a digital dictionary/thesaurus on my computer’s desktop dock for over twenty years. Use it all the time.

It’s one of the first things I add to the dock when I help someone set up a new Mac.

Apple computers have come preloaded with an Oxford dictionary/thesaurus for a long time.

Nomore_lockout's avatar

Have had one for years, never use it. But my American Heritage Dictionary and Webster’s College Dictionary are pretty well worn.

gondwanalon's avatar

@filmfann Thank you for not adding “precisely” to your list.

Love_my_doggie's avatar

I use an online thesaurus very often. I hate to admit this, but I think I’m dealing with a sign of aging—an inability to recall the word that I need. Yesterday, I couldn’t think of an alternative for “choice”; I had to search for “preference,” because I just couldn’t come up with it on my own.

I’m hoping that my frustrations are normal aging and not the beginning of something more serious. I can’t help but be concerned, because my mother died from complications of Alzheimer’s disease.

flutherother's avatar

I have the Penguin paperback version of Roget’s Thesaurus but to be honest, I don’t often use it. Word’s synonym checker is usually good enough for my purposes.

smudges's avatar

I use one online regularly, usually when I’m working an acrostic or crossword. Sometimes just because I want to learn to use different words besides the same old ones I always use.

SnipSnip's avatar

I do. I keep a dictionary and thesaurus on my desk. I prefer books to digital reference material.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I worked for a local newspaper for a while. They were firmly entrenced in the 60s. There was an idex card full of commonly misspelled words with the right spelling in my desk. SPELL CHECK ANYONE?

RocketGuy's avatar

I use the one in MS Word every now and then.

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