Taking 6,000 commonly used - and confused - synonyms, this unique guide is much more useful than a straight thesaurus because it offers both a definition of each word, and then an explanation of how to use it in the correct context. Words of similar meaning are grouped together in helpful thematic sections, making it easier to find just the right one. Offering more detail and more of the subtle nuances of our vocabulary than a thesaurus, this is a reference must for anyone with an interest in language.
'More helpful than a thesaurus, more humane than a dictionary, [it] maps linguistic boundaries with precision, sensitivity and, on occasion, dry wit ... a delightful book' The TLS.
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A sample extract:
incentive, inducement, reason, spur
These nouns all denote stimuli that prompt one to action. Motive connotes some impulse within a person - such as love, hate, revenge, or ambition - that impels the person to act with a strong sense of purpose. [The police believe the suspect's motive was jealousy. Her real motive for joining the club was not to make new friends, but to meet potential clients.]
Reason is the most general of these nouns, but in a specific sense, reason implies a logical justification either to oneself or to others for an action by citing facts and circumstances. [Her reason for entering the hospital was to undergo surgery. A severe handicap was the reason for his shyness.] Reason may sometimes hint at a contrived excuse. [Although he had over-slept, the reason he gave for his lateness was that he had been cought in a traffic jam.]
Incentive and spur are reasons for undertaking an action with extra zeal. Incentive nearly always implies a reward for such effort: prizes offered as an incentive to the sales staff. Spur, more strongly than incentive, suggests something external to oneself that causes a sudden increase in the rate of activity, as did the original meaning of spur in horsemanship. [Finding the cause of a disease will often provide the spur for research leading to a cure.]
About the Author:
Inducement denotes an attractive reason for choosing one thing rather than another. [The promise of a yearly bonus may be an inducement to an executive who is considering a job offer.] See STIMULATE.
S.I Hayakawa, the former US Senator, was a semanticist, author and teacher. His best known works are LANGUAGE IN ACTION and LANGUAGE IN THOUGHT AND ACTION.
Eugene Ehrlich, formerly a member of the Department of English at Columbia University, isthe author and editor of many reference books on language, including the OXFORD AMERICAN DICTIONARY, which he co-edited, and AMO, AMAS, AMAT AND MORE.
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Book Description Penguin Books, Limited (UK). PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0140513450. Bookseller Inventory # 9780140513455
Book Description Penguin Books, Limited (UK), 1996. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New item. Bookseller Inventory # QX-007-05-4283104