The new owner of Dictionary.com and Thesaurus.com abuses a thesaurus

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Rock Holdings, parent company of Quicken Loans, has acquired Dictionary.com and Thesaurus.com. The resulting press release is a perfect example of how an idiot uses a thesaurus. I know this press release was supposed to be funny. Funny is different in a press release. I salute that. And it worked: Google News shows 7,570 articles about … Continued

How to use a thesaurus to name stuff creatively

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I use an online thesaurus frequently in my work. It’s certainly not because my vocabulary is limited. It’s because it shakes loose new ideas when I’m trying to name things. The cliche of the thesaurus user is the desperate paper-writer who doesn’t want to repeat the same word endlessly (for example, “war,”), even though they are … Continued

Rewriting the news with stupendous verbiage in place of simple words

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California middle school teacher Leilen Shelton wants her writing students to eschew simple words like “good,” “said,” and “fun,” according to the Wall Street Journal. To demonstrate the problems with this dumb idea, I rewrote a news article about terrorism, replacing all the mundane words with longer ones. Misguided writing teachers are responsible for much of the bullshit … Continued