Synonyms, paraphrases, equivalents, restatements, poecilonyms.
January 10, 2014 2:20 PM   Subscribe

A thesaurus only lists adjectives. English Synonyms and Antonyms takes the time to explain the small distinctions of meaning and usage between, for example, example, archetype, ideal, prototype, type, ensample, model, sample, warning, exemplar, pattern, specimen, exemplification, precedent, and standard--or, at least, such distinctions as author James C. Fernald, L.H.D., perceived in 1896.
posted by Iridic (13 comments total) 40 users marked this as a favorite
Whoa this is like two megabytes of baseless_pedantry.txt, I love it
posted by theodolite at 2:33 PM on January 10, 2014 [6 favorites]

Wordy wonderful!
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 3:13 PM on January 10, 2014

My new thesaurus is terrible. It's also terrible.
posted by notme at 3:27 PM on January 10, 2014 [13 favorites]

I've long wanted a more useful thesaurus for when I find I'm overusing a word that would give me not just synonyms but words that mean similar things, so I can rework my sentence to use mean the same thing even if the word isn't identical.
posted by Canageek at 4:08 PM on January 10, 2014

There are modern versions of same. I found one that someone was tossing out while cleaning out their office and snatched it right up.
posted by tss at 4:20 PM on January 10, 2014

This is a perfectly cromulent book.
posted by nushustu at 4:22 PM on January 10, 2014

I offer the author my heartfelt contrafibularities.

Author appears to have been something of a - man of his time, shall we say. He was a supporter of the Teddy Roosevelt school of Manly Imperialism, believing that taking up the White Man's Burden kept our youth, well, manly, and "provide adventurous occupation for a host of sturdy young men" and so avoid us falling prey to "Chinese immobility and decay".

On the eve of the Spanish American war he wrote The Spaniard in History (main takeaway - Spaniards are " be trusted with control of a weak or subject race").

And then there was his pamphlet The New Womanhood, which asserted that women should concentrate on kinder, k├╝che, und Kirche, and for God's sake stay away from the evil city.

His daughter was the early feminist academic Mable Fernald.
posted by IndigoJones at 4:53 PM on January 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

One of the clearest articulations, that I've ever seen, of the very tricky distinction between each and every.
posted by Dreadnought at 5:11 PM on January 10, 2014

(main takeaway - Spaniards are " be trusted with control of a weak or subject race")

That's a pretty icky way of putting it, but history does indeed bear that out.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:36 PM on January 10, 2014

This is fantastic, beautiful, useful and compelling.
posted by salishsea at 5:53 PM on January 10, 2014

Seconded on the "each" v. "every" distinction. And, in reading it (linked here) I found it even has the following sentence:

"The use of either in the sense of each or both, tho sustained by good authority, is objectionable because ambiguous."

which is hilarious because "because ambiguous" _and_ because "tho."
posted by Earthtopus at 6:36 PM on January 10, 2014

"The spirit of the Anglo-Saxon race, masterful in language as in war and commerce, has subjugated all these various elements to one idiom, making not a patchwork, but a composite language."

Definitely a man of his time. Just the kind of thing I enjoy, however (the language distinctions, not the transposition of imperialism into language).
posted by LucretiusJones at 6:50 PM on January 10, 2014

"A thesaurus only lists adjectives"? Nonsense, balderdash, twaddle, humbug, flummery, flap-doodle.
posted by zeri at 5:20 PM on January 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

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