13 April 2018

Synonyms


Perhaps you are like me. When writing, I sometimes find myself wanting to use an alternative word to the one that first springs to mind. Perhaps the initial word has been used already or perhaps it is not helping to create the intended effect. I rack my brain trying to think of a different word.

The facility I am about to advertise is not available in "Blogger"  but it is available in "Word". I am sure that some of you out there have known about it for ages but I am equally sure that there will be many visitors who have not yet stumbled across it. It is very useful.

Let's say you have just typed a sentence. Let's say it is this one:-

The wind howled through the trees.

But a voice inside your head says you are not happy with all your word choices. You put your cursor over the word wind. Then you do a right click. You go down the little menu that has appeared  and you see the word "Synonyms". You go right of this and you find "breeze, airstream, gale, squall, gust, storm". You click on the alternative word you judge to be best and the word "wind" is automatically replaced.
Then you look at "howled" and "trees" in the same way, considering alternatives and you might also think about adjectives that could be inserted, till you finally come up with..

An arctic squall wailed through the skeletal saplings.

Okay, I know this is a slightly artificial OTT sentence and sometimes simplicity is preferable but I am just trying to promote the use of the "Synonyms" facility. It's there at your fingertips when using "Word" and I know that many computer users are not aware of it. It can save a lot of brain scratching as you try to come up with replacement words. It is simply a quick and potentially very helpful  aide memoire though naturally it also requires good judgement as you weigh up replacement auxiliary standby additional emergency other possibilities.

26 comments:

  1. Very cool! I didn't know that was there. Thanks for the heads up. :)

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    1. We seem to learn how to use computers by chance, trial and error and tips from other users. Glad to be of service Kathy.

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  2. interesting! I usually just google for synonyms

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    1. If in Word, this facility is a lot quicker Kylie.

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  3. Hey , sometimes I have a hard time to think of a basic word let alone find a good synonym.

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    1. You may require a brain transplant Red.

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  4. Many years ago I took a class in Microsoft Word and learned that it has had so many different programmers that more than likely there is no one person that knows everything it can do. Isn't that crazy! I remember when an earlier version of it even had a hidden "easter egg" that would start up a flight simulator!

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    1. There is always something new to discover about Word. Thank you Lord Bill of Seattle!

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  5. You lost me at "right click". For verily I say unto you that I am a iMac user and know not of this ancient relic whatso is called "right click" but that it is of the ancestors and thus venerable but, like, so olden.

    I thought that writing was simply a matter of taking dictation from the angels, who have no need of a thesaurus. I really should not have had that third V&T.

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    1. Art thou from the warring Apple tribe? Those lofty and supercilious nobles who live on The Plateau of Higher Knowledge? I dwell in the Valley of Ordinariness - a subject of Lord Bill of the Golden Gates.

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  6. I have used this Word program for quite a while; it was particularly useful when I was writing but did not have an internet connection. It may not have quite the diversity of online synonyms but is better than muttering darkly because you can't think of an alternative word.

    Alphie

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    1. You got it Alphie! My view entirely.

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  7. That's interesting for Microsoft and Word users. A similar service is available in Apple Pages. However what would be really useful would be to hover over any word and get the synonyms. For example when one is writing a blog post. At the moment I can only do that by write clicking and searching the word on, say, Google or using the Dictionary app.

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    1. It certainly would be helpful to have the facility within Blogger.

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  8. Yep! There times I go to use "Yes"...and then I decide to use "Yeah"....rarely do I use "Aye".

    Similar applies to "No"..."Nope"; "Nuh"...rarely "Nay"...I leave "Neigh" to the horses, even though some might call me an "old nag". But, I never answer to that or them!

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    1. Synonyms for Lee include - shadow, shelter, cover, protection and ogre. (I made the last one up!)

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    2. Yes! Yep! Yeah! An ogre I am! I am particularly cruel,ugly and brutish...brutal when stirred, even!

      By choice I keep to myself within the shelter of my cabin, venturing out only under the cover of darkness, or otherwise when forced to act in the protection of not only my own self, but also in the safekeeping of my two furry mates if intruders dare invade my privacy. Not even my shadow will give warning of my impending approach.

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    3. There should be a warning sign at the entrance to your property. However, I would ignore it as I know that in reality you are a bashful sweetie with a tender heart.

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    4. Awwwwwww.....

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  9. Well you just taught me something Mr Pudding. Older versions of Word had a Thesaurus link at the top of the header but I didn't realise I could find it by right clicking over a word. Thank you.

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    1. Glad to be of service young lady!

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  10. I usually Google for a synonym also, so it's nice to have a shorter route - thanks, YP.

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    1. The options aren't as numerous as in an online thesaurus but it's certainly quicker.

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  11. I doff my cap to the extraordinarily literary-enhancing information contained within this blog post.

    ... and (wink) I don’t even have Word, that pernitiously ubiquitous, overweight, cumbersome and badly-written piece of Microsoft software.

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    1. The online dossier reveals that you are a member of the secret Apple organisation whose mission is to undermine faith in Wordism and The Microsoft Empire.

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  12. An interesting tool, though I can usually come up with an alternative on my own without getting too repetitive. (I hope!)

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Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.