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September 9th, 2003, 11:05 PM
I sometimes like to write little stories,nothing special.
My main problem is to find the right Synonym for a word that would fit in a situation,for example;"he leaned against the wall"
What word would I use instead.I often use often on-line webster but maybe anyone can point me in a direction of what to use,posseble availible on line.


September 10th, 2003, 04:17 AM
You could try a thesaurus;)

September 10th, 2003, 05:05 AM
Originally posted by pdb
You could try a thesaurus;)

Snap, actually, the net is a wonderful place, but when writing I personally find a good thesaurus and dictionary on the desk a must, also use the thesaurus in "word" not as good as a "book" one, but useful.

James Barclay
September 10th, 2003, 05:55 PM
Nothing wrong with your example, if you ask me. It's simple, says what it needs to say. Synonyms are great for expanding vocabularies and helping to avoid repetition that jars when you read it.

But don't feel you have to use a different word than the obvious because if that word gets the message across immediately, it is surely doing its job.

People can overuse their Thesaurus and appear like show-offs, become obscure in word choice, and often both.

Quick rule... if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Or do I mean, if it ain't demolished, don't rectify it....?


September 10th, 2003, 07:16 PM
I agree with NOM. Unless you are using that sentance to create a specific atmosphere, use the simple version.

If you intend to imply something specific, change the word. If the character is simply resting, w/o any obvious impact to the story or character, use leaned.

Is he taking a load off? Have him lean against the wall.
Is he injured/exhausted? Have him slouch against the wall.

The average reader will slip past the casual remark of lean anyway, treat it as simple background noise - probably never notice what words are used (which is fine, if the action has no dramatic impact.)

If he slouches, the reader may take more notice, maybe catch the implication that he is tired, injured or lazy.

If you doubt - always go simple. It RARELY hurts a story using direct and simple words, but circumlocution FREQUENTLY does.