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My old thesaurus with a 21st century format!

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I don't know about other historical writers but my period thesaurus and dictionary are essential to me! I look up words and find ones that are still understandable but are more pertinent to the period. And make sure I don't use words that are "too" modern or the opposite problem, use too many period "cliches." (overused in historical potboilers)

Anyway, my 1883 thesaurus is literally shredding as the paper breaks and crumbles. So my DH went on ebay and found me one in CD format!

What tools are essential to you? Do you use period reference books, too?
#1 - December 13, 2009, 09:22 AM
Cozy mystery writer for ANNIE'S FICTION and GUIDEPOSTS

Not sure if this is relevant, but I used to go everywhere with my dinosaur in my bag.  It was an essential tool in my writing.  These days, I try not to use it so much.  But it still lurks in my bag when I get stuck.  
Possibly and different answer to what you were looking for.
It was also a great tool when working as an assistant in a classroom way back in 1994.  The boys hadn't heard of a thesaurus and always giggled when they had to retrieve the dinosaur from my bag.  At that stage, it helped me a lot to teach them that English has so many words and their writing could expand simply by using one other word.  They seemed to enjoy learning through it.  These days, I try not to rely on it myself.  But I was only 21 back then.  I think I can be forgiven.
#2 - December 13, 2009, 12:05 PM
« Last Edit: December 13, 2009, 01:26 PM by thunderingelephants »


I'm a huge fan of for its simplicity and ease; my old thesaurus is gathering dust on the bookshelves, a long ago graduation gift that I still treasure but  is not as convenient as online references.
#3 - December 13, 2009, 01:12 PM


I have Web 11 on CD on my laptop, which is nice because it's the same dictionary my publisher uses. I use it probably 15 times a day.  It has a pretty decent thesaurus, and you can cross-reference between them. When I'm working on my desktop, I'll use and (although I got a really weird buggy popup on that site last week).

I have a beautiful set of leather-bound Roget's and the American Heritage Dictionary that I got when I graduated from high school, but they live in my office, and I don't always (or even often) work up there.  Which is why I needed the software. ;)
#4 - December 23, 2009, 11:05 AM

My old dinosaur became extinct and I had to get a new one which is absolutely  :toilet and I don't like the computer one.  Any suggestions?
#5 - December 23, 2009, 01:59 PM


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