01.02.2013 | Jennifer Gehrt
If you are passionate about writing, you understand the importance of word choice to convey the right meaning or evoke emotion. Recently, a friend introduced me to Visual Thesaurus, a wonderful subscription tool developed by Thinkmap, Inc., which I now find indispensable. The Visual Thesaurus is an online dictionary and thesaurus that displays the word you are looking up at the center of a branch chart linking to related words.
For instance, if you look up “write” on the Visual Thesaurus site, you’ll see a branch chart with all the associated words – compose, spell, pen, publish, drop a line, communicate, describe, etc. – clustered around it. The tool makes it easy to discover new words and provides a way to consider the semantics of a particular word. Another key benefit of the Visual Thesaurus is that you can roll over the word to see the definition as well as use-case examples of the word in a sentence. In addition, you can hear the words pronounced correctly, which was very helpful for me when I recently got into a debate with my husband about the correct pronunciation of “filet mingon.”This is only the tip of iceberg. Visual Thesaurus offers much more – you can share maps with friends, create personal word lists, and sign up for the word of the day. Beyond its functional benefits, I find Visual Thesaurus fun to use, intuitive and it makes me feel smart. For just $19.95 per year, I think it’s nifty (or as Visual Thesaurus suggested: bang-up, swell, peachy or groovy!).
If you have not had a chance to try it, I would encourage you to subscribe. The company offers a 14-day, risk-free trial. I applaud Thinkmap for coming up with such a clever and practical tool for writers and word lovers everywhere.