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on 7 August 2012
I have both the Penguin Rhyming Dictionary and the Complete Rhyming Dictionary and they're each useful in their own way.

The strengths of the Penguin Rhyming Dictionary are:
If you know the word you want to rhyme, you look up that word in the index then find the section containing rhymes for that word;
The rhyme lists are large and relatively comprehensive.

The weaknesses of the Penguin Rhyming Dictionary are:
There appears to be no obvious organisation of the rhyming section. Rhymes are not organised so that all rhymes beginning -A, -E, -I are in order, and masculine and feminine rhymes are all jumbled up together. This means that it is difficult to use the rhyming section without first referring to the index. If you only have a couple of words to look up that's OK, but if you're looking for a large number of rhymes (or are looking for family rhymes) this quickly becomes time-consuming and, ultimately, tiresome.

There is the occasional pointlessly expanded list of compound words. -ity being a case in point. It would take far less paper and be clearer to make a note for words ending in -ual, -ial, -il that -ity can be appended where appropriate. Anyone who's using a rhyming dictionary is probably smart enough to know that you can append -ity to 'eventual' and 'trivial'.

The paperback version of the book has a tendency to fall to pieces: I've had mine for 6 weeks now and the first pages are already falling out.

The strengths of the Complete Rhyming Dictionary are:
The rhyming section of the dictionary are split into masculine rhymes and feminine rhymes and organised by phonetic sound within each section. This makes it easier to find rhymes by scanning the rhyming section, and to find family rhymes.

There aren't as many pointlessly expanded lists of words - words tend to be reduced to a basic stub with a note that they can be expanded using various suffixes.

The weaknesses of the Complete Rhyming Dictionary are:
There is no word index. If you don't know how find the phonetic sound you want you're scuppered. Personally I didn't find this much of a problem - it took me about 5 minutes to learn the sounds specified in the index and begin using the dictionary in anger - but this might not be the case for other people.

It's an American book. Although I didn't have any trouble finding "Fire" (it's in the same list as Aspire, Rewire and other words rhyming -'R) there are pronunciation differences between British and American English to do with which syllables are stressed in multi-syllable words: You say adúlt, we say ádult, you say díctate, we say dictáte. This occasionally causes a word the British would put in the masculine rhyme section under one heading (dictáte, under -ate) to occur in the feminine rhyme section under another heading (díctate under -ict). Personally I think this is just a slight annoyance (compared with the endless index-related fiddling of the Penguin Dictionary) and I cross-check with the Penguin dictionary to make sure I'm not missing anything. Others might find it more of an irritation.
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on 28 February 2001
The Penguin Rhyming Dictionary by Rosalind Fergusson is easy to use. To find the rhymes for any particular word, first look in the index, which forms roughly the second half of the book. The index will refer you either to a group number (e.g. 15) or a subgroup number (e.g. 15.3) in the first part of the book. And that's it, - rhyme along! The book contains lists of rhymes for well over 40000 words, and even offer explanations of the unusual ones. For instance: I was desperately looking for a rhyme for the word disequilibrium, and yes, here it was: Perionychium, explained as skin surrounding fingernail. I'll find a way to make use of this in a song, sooner or later. But, of course, there are several more relevant words for songwriters: 11 rhymes for love, - even Baal Shem Tov (Jewish religious leader!). I don't regret I also ordered a copy for a friend.
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on 29 June 2012
I've had a copy of this book for many years and it is now tatty through over-use. My new one serves to replace this. I use it for writing 'poems' of appreciation or complaint to companies, making up rhyming stories for birthdays etc and also for more serious stuff when I just feel like expressing myself in a different way. The book has never let me down and contains an amazing array of words that you would never think to use if you didn't have this wonderful book. It"s incredibly easy to use and if you buy one it will change the way you think about words and will increase your vocabulary. I wouldn't be without a copy.
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on 11 February 2001
This helped me very much at school when I had to write my poetry and then my friend at uni used it for his degree!!
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on 25 February 2017
Time is the factor here. However I have read and digested some of the information and will probably have a better diagnose of the book to actually tell you. I can only give you the skimming detail and not the full picture. However I have enjoyed what I have read so far, if that helps.
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on 16 May 2010
The book arrived on time but it did not have the cover displayed, It was advertised as in good condition but the cover was held together with Selotape and is badly dog eared. The pages are all brown and dog eared. I wasn't expecting a new book but this is definitely not in "GOOD" condition. I contacted the supplier and they just said send it back, they did not apologize properly and seemed to have a completely careless attitude. I kept the book as I needed it but I will never use this supplier again.
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on 14 February 2015
This book has been invaluable on a couple of occasions for my son who's in Year 8, whilst doing literacy homework. When I told him I'd ordered him a little something he was itching for it to arrive and, I have to say, not too amused when he opened it. However, he's starting to realise its worth, even if it's not his favourite item in the world! ;)
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on 16 December 2016
I have found the Rhyming Dictionary to be an extremely useful tool for my projects. I have only had the book, which is second hand, for a short while, but it has met all my expectations and I would recommend it anyone wishing to write in verse.
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on 27 December 2016
Really helped me to manage my initial attempts at writing my own. I haven't got the courage to go for free verse yet, so this has been a useful tool, but I could see it would become less useful if you relied upon it.
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on 25 March 2013
This book helpfully grouped letters into phonetic categories- which is particularly useful for poets, song writers or for that matter any writer of verse. As well as everyday vocab, it also provides proper nouns ( both regular and the more obscure) and as many -ologies as you could think of. The reference guide in the back is quick and easy to use- culminating in an ultimately good buy.The condition of the book was the only thing hindering this product from a full marks review.
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