Do you want to improve your writing style so that people love to read what you've written?
Do you want to speak in a way that grabs people's attention and holds their interest?
You can easily achieve both by adding variety, humor and wisdom to what you write and say by using a Phrase Thesaurus to find unusual ways of saying and illustrating everyday points. You probably haven't heard of a Phrase Thesaurus as it is very new concept and has only been made possible using the internet and online search. To find out more read on.
First things first.
What are phrases?
The definition of a 'phrase' is a sequence of words intended to have meaning. A phrase can be standalone or part of a sentence.
In the English language there are an estimated 100,000 commonly used phrases. These include 25,000 idioms and 16,000 proverbs.
Phrases provide humour, interest and wisdom in a compact and memorable way.
proverbs - 'never judge a book by it's cover'
idioms - 'a fish out of water'
similes - 'eat like a horse'
metaphor - 'the elephant in the room'
cliches - 'all bets are off'
catchphrases - 'nice to see you, to see you nice'
quotations - 'who took the cork out of my lunch'
euphemisms - 'a few cards short of a full pack'
text speak - 'LOL - lots of love/laugh at load'
puns - 'I used to have a fear of hurdles, but I got over it'
oxymorons - 'deafening silence'
tongue twisters - 'Peter picked a pickled pepper'
slogans - 'go for it'
jargon - 'think outside of the box'
slang - 'you dirty dog'
memorable book titles - 'Catch 22'
memorable film titles - 'some like it hot'
memorable song titles - 'all you need is love'
What is a Phrase Thesaurus?
A phrase thesaurus provides a list of phrases which are related to a single word.
It is similar to a synonym thesaurus such as Roget's Thesaurus, but instead of listing the synonyms for a word, it lists all of the related phrases.
There are lots of resources which list phrases by type or category such as:
The Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs
The Oxford Dictionary of Euphemisms
The Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms
Brewster's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable
Chambers Slang Dictionary
However there is not a complete printed phrase thesuarus which combines all types of phrases because such a book would be too big to be practical. Therefore all the phrase thesauri are online.
Example of a Phrase Thesaurus
When a phrase thesaurus is searched the reader is provided with a list of phrases related to the noun they are investigating.
For example, if you look up the word 'dog', the phrases listed would include:
let sleeping dog's lie
a barking dog never bites
a dog is a man's best friend
a dog-eat-dog world
shaggy dog story
double dog dare
not fit for a dog
mean as a junkyard dog
It should also include associated phrases. These are phrases which do not contain the searched noun, but the phrases are clearly related to the noun. For example, the search for 'dog' could include the following phrases:
his bark is worse than his bite
barking up the wrong tree
run with the hare and hunt with the hounds
the hounds of the Baskerville
one sick puppy
frisky as a puppy
walk to heel
Who uses a Phrase Thesaurus?
Phrase thesauri are used by different groups of people for different purposes.
Authors and journalists find new and unusual phrases to add interest and fun to their writing
Copywriters create funny or inspirational headlines to grab the attention of audiences with short attention spans
Marketers and advertisers use phrases to come up with ad headlines, marketing slogans and clever domain names
Universities and schools encourage students, particularly those whose first language is not English, to broaden their vocabulary and understanding
Song writers and speech writers can add spice and interest to their work
People interested in the variety of the English language
The internet has enabled the introduction of a number of phrase thesauri and they are likely to become an essential resource for everyone involved with any kind of creative writing.
The English language is so varied and rich, yet it is so under-utilised. Now there is an opportunity to start adding interest, fun and intelligence to everything you write and say. You will be amazed at the difference it makes to your ability to engage with people and communicate your thoughts and ideas. People love phrases and sayings which embellish otherwise boring interactions.
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