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Roget's Thesaurus of Phrases [Hardcover]

Barbara Ann Kipfer
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Writer's Digest Books (July 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0898799996
  • ISBN-13: 978-0898799996
  • Product Dimensions: 3.1 x 15.6 x 23.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,087,674 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


If you need a synonym for a word you look in a thesaurus. But what if you need a synonym for a phrase, such as "flower arrangement" or "budget deficit" or "crowning achievement?" You could try to track down a synonym in a thesaurus by looking up one word in the phrase, then sifting through the synonyms in hopes that one or two might apply to your phrase. Or you could use Roget's Thesaurus of Phrases. This one-of-a-kind reference offers 10,000 multi-word entries and multi-word synonyms to help writers avoid repetitions and cliches and to make their writing more precise. It is also useful for Internet searches, in which a key phrase may not pull all the desired information. Synonymous phrases will help the researcher find more information with less effort. This is truly a book for the 21st century.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars limited resource, but a good complement 5 Nov 2007
The author tried to do something different. Yes, there are some aspects that distinguish it from other published books about thesaurus. You may find very interesting alternative phrases that you have never thought of before. It may be a perfect book to flip through and kill time on a Sunday afternoon. However, the resource is limited, so much so that it can hardly be used as an independent reference. If you want to look for alternative phrases seriously just as you use other well-known thesauri, you will be disappointed from time to time. Having said all that, it is still worth having a copy on your shelf.
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Amazon.com: 3.1 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Frustrating and limited 3 Feb 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
This book is supposed to help avoid cliches and repetition. A wonderful idea--how many times have you wished to find a different way to say the same old phrase? Unfortunately, Roget's Thesaurus of Phrases isn't very helpful.
The phrases listed are, for the most part, not phrases I have difficulty replacing. Honestly--"microwave oven"? "space being"? "business school"? More phrases like "bury the hatchet" or "writing on the wall" would have been better choices. Moreover, many phrases one might wish to find synonyms for, such as "take to heart" or "throw something in another's face", were not included. In fact, the percentage of genuinely overused phrases is really quite small.
The word "phrase" is somewhat misleading as far as this book is concerned. Most of the phrases included are limited to two-word combinations, and a number of entries are merely hyphenated words. Even "e-mail" is included! In addition (another phrase that is not included), the "synonyms" vary greatly in quality and are often not really synonyms at all. For example, under "Romance language", the following words are included: French, Italian, Latin, Portuguese, and Spanish. Yes, these are Romance languages, but they are not synonyms for the phrase "Romance language". "First draft" and "diamond in the rough" are rarely used in synonymous ways. And isn't "diamond in the rough" itself an overused phrase?
Another problem with the book is its layout. Unless you're thinking of the same phrase that the author used as an entry, you'll never find what you're looking for. Many of the words used in the listing are not also used as entry words. You have to think of the right entry word to even look for other possibilities!
The only valuable segment of the book is the addendum, Phrase Maker, and even it is limited. This section lists a number of nouns that can be used with two or more adjectives that follow. It would be a handy reference if the rest of the book merited purchase. As it is, you're better off with a good, solid standard thesaurus, one that includes synonymous phrases.
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Useful, But a Bit Clumsy 3 Jan 2004
By Westley - Published on Amazon.com
Have you ever been writing and desperately needed another idea for a two-word or longer phrase? Have you consulted your thesaurus and found nothing that matched? If so, this clever thesaurus of phrases is for you.
Some of the thesaurus phrases are fairly technical or formal; for example, Einstein's Theory of Relativity can also be described as the "principle of equivalence" and Darwin's natural selection can be called the "law of the jungle." However, most of the phrases are more colloquial in nature; for example, look up "down-and-out" and you'll find clever substitutes, such as "in the poorhouse" and "on the skids." In addition, a short "phrase maker" section is included at the end of the thesaurus, which provides words that can be paired together. For example, look up "information" and the phrase maker suggests "confidential" or "classified" as modifiers.
This thesaurus is likely to be useful for most any writer, whether your writing is creative or more technical. The only debit is that phrases are not cross-listed, so "in the poorhouse" is not an entry; one has to divine the correct listing for the book to be useful. This problem, however, is a minor inconvenience compared to the likely use writers of all sorts will derive. Highly recommended.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting resource, limited value 23 Oct 2004
By Jonathan Appleseed - Published on Amazon.com
If you're looking for something to peruse on a lazy Sunday afternoon, and you're a lover of words, this is a terrific book. But as other reviewers have noted, it has limited usage value.

This isn't likely to help you improve your writing, but it is likely to help you enjoy language.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Have yet to use it 26 July 2012
By The Write Beat - Published on Amazon.com
My packing list says February 2010. I'm writing this July 2012. I have yet to find a single phrase for which I needed a substitute in this book. While there appears to be good stuff inside, nearly every entry is a two-word phrase. I've tried hard to use this book, honestly, but not once, not one single time, have I turned to it for a suggestion and found the "needle in a haystack" I was looking for. The primary reason is that phrases are short enough that an ordinary dictionary or thesaurus often satisfies my need before I ever reach for this book. I love the idea, and the author has done a lot of work, but I found not one phrase I needed in two-and-a-half years.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Roget's Thesaurus of Phrases 24 Feb 2006
By Sherri M. Wallace - Published on Amazon.com
I think it needed a little better cross-referencing capabilities. I had a specific word I was working with and needed phrases to go with that word. You can't look up most single words. There is no listing.
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