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Academic Insights for the Thinking World

Finding the right word

How do you choose the right word? Some just don’t fit what you’re trying to convey, either in the labor of love prose for your creative writing class, or the rogue auto-correct function on your phone.

Can you shed lacerations instead of tears? How is the word barren an attack on women? How do writers such as Joshua Ferris, Francine Prose, David Foster Wallace, Zadie Smith, and Simon Winchester weigh and inveigh against words?

We sat down with Katherine Martin and Allison Wright, editors of the Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus, to discuss what makes a word distinctive from others and what writers can teach you about language.

Writing Today, the Choice of Words, and the Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus

Reflections in the Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus

The Use and Abuse of a Thesaurus

Recent Comments

  1. [...] Finding the Right Word and using a Thesaurus  [...]

  2. Alex B.

    Is it possible to have a look a a couple of sample pages? I own a copy of the 2nd edition, so I’d like to find out what exactly those new features are.

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