My Favorite Dinosaur is the Thesaurus

I keep telling myself I’m going to give up on tomatoes. The past 3-4 years by the time I get enough tomatoes to make it worthwhile, summer is over. But here I am sprouting them on the windowsill. I can’t resist.

I have recently been reminded how much I love my thesaurus. The actual hardcover Roget’s that my Mom gave me when I was in college. (That was in the 80’s.)

I sometimes use online versions but just like browsing for books in a bookstore is different than browsing online, searching for words in a book leaves more room for discovery than using a digital source. Right now my book is open to 952 Resentment, Anger. There are three columns of words plus 953 Jealousy, 954 Envy and three paragraphs for 955 Retaliation are on the same pages.

When I was in high school we were assigned a huge research report. Our teacher scolded us for thinking we could open the thesaurus and exchange one word for a different word in the same section. I did that.

Now I use my thesaurus for brainstorming. I’m not sure I can articulate my process. If my setting is a desert I might look at words that I associate with desert to see what comes up. Or maybe write sentences about the same idea using different words. Sometimes I make lists of words if I’m feeling stuck. In the front of the book I have all kinds of asterisks: “good rock and roll words” “space travel” “look at for food.”

I have no concluding sentence.

Finished. Completed. Ended.