Friday, January 25, 2008

The final word

Yesterday on a chat loop, Kelly asked for assistance with a word she couldn't think of. There were many suggestions. Finally she asked me to check my Synonym Finder. Before I typed the possibilities, someone else came up with the correct word. Yay, Cindy!

In my comments yesterday, another fellow writer commented that there weren't very many synonyms for the word deep. For ha-ha's I looked it up. Here's what the book had to say:

deep, adj. 1. immeasurable, bottomless, fathomless, depthless; extensive, broad, wide, far-reaching, vast, massive; retreating, yawning, cavernous, abysmal; submerged, sunk, sunken, on the bottom; buried, in the bowels of the earth, subterreanean; deep-seated, deep-rooted, inmost, out of sight. Inf. way down.
2. sagacious, sage, wise, learned, knowing; penetrating, discerning, perspicacious, shrewd, astute; artful, subtle, designing, scheming, devious, cunning.
3. profound, extreme, intense, great; grave, pressing, urgent, critical, vital, important, significant. Inf. heavy.
4. difficult, unclearn, obscure, abstruse, esoteric, recondite; impenetrable, inexplicable, incomprehensible; secret, hidden, mysterious, unfathomable, concealed; enigmatic, mystical, sphinxlike, occult.
5. absorbed, engrossed, preoccupied, rapt, inten, involved, entangled; immersed, plunged into, lost in, swallowed up, occupied, engaged.
6. rich, full, big, strong, powerful, heavy, solid; full-toned, resonant, sonorous, bass, basso; rumbling, booming, resounding; guttural, growly; dark, intensified, vivid, vibrant, vigorous, full-bodied.
7. earnest, sincere, serious, sober, somber; philosophical, thoughtful, reflective; heartfelt, poignant, fervent, ardent, impassioned; intense, deepfelt.
--n. 8. bottom, depths, deepest reaches, bottommost point; depth, profundity, extent, vastness, abyss.
9. culmination, central point, midpoint, middle, midst; silence, still stillness, fastness, recesses, remotest point.
10 the deep Chiefly Literary. the ocean, the sea, the seas, the high seas, the seven seas, main, the ocean blue, the waves; briny deep, Davy Jone's locker, Neptune's kingdom.
--adv. 11. profoundly, intensely, deeply. See deeply............The Synonym Finder by J.I. Rodale

There you go, Jae. Just a few alternatives to deep.

Sometimes I get lost in that book. One afternoon, I looked up various colors. There are an astonishing number of words for colors. There were over fifty for the color red--and that didn't take into account the other ways we use the word red, such as embarassed, or as a reference to the old Soviet Union.

One time, I went looking for an alternative to the word desire. That entry is over a quarter page long... and yet the the precise word I wanted wasn't there. But there were a couple of words that were close so I looked them up. Three entries later, I found the exact word I wanted. That word that would convey the precise meaning I was looking for.

Sometimes I will read something I've written months or even years later and think how did I know that was exactly the right word for that sentence? I don't remember the time I spent searching for the right word. But when I read it later, I notice that it's there. I wonder if readers ever notice the words? Do they realize that the sentence would be less if I used a different word there? I don't know. What I do know is that for me, it will niggle and irritate me until I hunt down the perfect word.

Perhaps the apostle John said it best, "In the beginning was the Word..." John 1:1


Pop over to Amarinda's Place for her take on the Saga and other observations about life at and then check with Kelly Blog to see what she's up to today. Maybe she's teaching ants to toe dance? Blessings on your day!


  1. I really ned to go get that book:)

  2. I need one of them thar book things. And um, that particular Word, is a whole different kind of word. I know you know that, sundayschool teacher.

  3. You go! I need a synonym finder myself.

  4. I just ordered a Synonym Finder today! I cannot wait to get it. I went to Barnes and Noble and sat in the aisle with that book on my lap for almost an hour. I can't wait to get my very own copy. Thank you so much for alerting me that it existed. Hooray! Now I can drive my editor nuts. "Why yes I did say "and" 300 times, but I only used that actual word 20. Ha ha!


  5. I just gave away two thesaurus when we moved three months ago. I wished you've told me you needed one. Now I use the on-line Thesaurus/Dictionary/Encyclopedia and I also have on my hardtop the Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary. I don't know how I lived without them before.

  6. Nope, this isn't a thesaurus. It's a synonym finder. I have a thesaurus that I never use. I also have three copies of the Synonym Finder that I use constantly. It's one of those things that you have to see to really appreciate.

  7. That sounds like a must-have book...must check into that. I'm sure has missed me...should go order now.

  8. hmmmm..."He thrust (bottomlessly, fathomlessly, depthlessly; extensively, broadly, widely, far-reachingly, vastly, massively; retreatingly, yawningly, cavernously, abysmally; submergedly,sunkenly, )..."

    Naw, some of those actually are fairly insulting. I'll stick with deep. Besides, I really don't want to start another pukable debate.