cover image Roget's Descriptive Word Finder: A Dictionary/Thesaurus of Adjectives

Roget's Descriptive Word Finder: A Dictionary/Thesaurus of Adjectives

Barbara Ann Kipfer. Writers Digest Books, $24.99 (464pp) ISBN 978-1-58297-170-4

In her latest resource for writers, lexicographer Kipfer (Flip Dictionary; Roget's Thesaurus of Phrases) offers scribes a hybrid dictionary-thesaurus of adjectives and adverbs, with thousands of words and phrases divided into 572 thematic categories, from""Abandonment-Discontinuance"" to""Zoology."" The format may feel strange to those who employ favorite synonym finders already, but the array of word choices in each category will no doubt win Kipfer's system fans. Under the""Aberration-Unconventionality"" heading, for example, the 80 entries include suggestions both basic (abnormal, amorphous, singular) and advanced (azygous, errabund, farblondzhet). The links between the headings and their potential descriptors sometimes feel a little shaky: would someone looking to describe a confinement pick hapteric (""fastening; holding fast"") or in Lob's Pound (""held playfully between the legs and feet of an adult; said of a child"")? When a writer needs a synonym quickly, there's no beating a good standard thesaurus, but this volume offers word-lovers a cornucopia of surprising lexical treats. With antepaschal (""before Passover or Easter), isogogic (""introductory""), predormient (""before sleep"") and vanward (""at or to the front"") all appearing under""Before-Preceding,"" and the""Writing"" category offering allonymous (""ghostwritten""), cuneiform, Jacobean, out-of-print, prosaic and scribaceous (""fond of writing""), this is a diverting, quirky resource indeed.