Family Word Finder is a rich source of words - their meanings, thier origins and their connections to other words. It is not just a dictionary, it is also a thesaurus, a phrase-builder and a spelling and pronunciation guide, all in one.
Within its 928 pages you will find:
• 10,500 key words
• More than 200,000 synonyms and antonyms
• Sample sentences to make word meanings clear
• Word origins to help you understand how the English language grew
• Up-to-date vocabulary, including slang and informal words
• Helpful usage notes so that you can avoid making common errors
• Pronunciation tips, spelled out phonetically rather than with symbols
• Spelling tips
• Exploring the word features to make building your vocabulary fun
• Parts of speech identified
• Quotations - by great men and women who have used these words to make pithy or even humorous statements
• technical words and foreign expressions commonly used in English
• Cross references to related words
WOW! This has to be the very best linguistic reference for the English language to be released this year!
To compare this to a dictionary is to compare a dead daisy to a bouquet of fresh roses... and then some! There is just so much tucked away between the covers, it's almost hard to bring it all down to a summary level... but I shall try.
Firstly, it is laid out like a standard dictionary, with everything grouped around the key word. You have your word, a conversational example of it in context if applicable, easy english dictionary-style definition that also includes synonyms, and at the bottom you have your list of antonyms (words that carry opposite meanings or contexts). On top of that, liberally scattered throughout the book are "Exploring the Word" boxes, that contain anecdotal histories of various common and not-so-common words... all wonderful extra avenues of linguistic exploration for those literophiles out there.
Worried about what the kids might dig up in this? Don't. There isn't a swear word in here that doesn't have a proper, non-colloquial meaning. Translation: Family-friendly, no genuine naughty words. There are a few that can be used in unsavoury context, but then the kids are redefining and inventing so many words it would be near-impossible to exclude every potential candidate... however you will find only the wholesome original definitions in here, so it's great for the younger kids, and possibly (but not likely) to re-educate the youth market. Let's face facts... almost every (c)rap music video has far worse, and they bombard their ears with that stuff daily... this is just a pure reference book that MIGHT give some hope to the next generation.
Overall, probably the best book you could buy this year. A definite worthy addition to any keen reference library, and well worth exploring if you have kids under 10... they still have the potential to grow up understanding the beauty of words, and how to use them properly. My young son is already starting to mimic some of the playground language he is hearing from the older kids, and it's very worrying. This book might just help me show him the error of their ways. -fingers crossed-
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