Monday, April 4, 2011

What I MEANT to say…

TREE, n.
     synonyms: button tree, marmalade tree, marblewood, Brazilian pepper tree, ebony, necklace tree, devilwood…

So I've seen a lot of writers just fall to pieces over Scrivener, and I get the impression that after that, most use Word. Scrivener – eh. I've tried to start using it, but it just seems like so much BUSY work to get a project established. Busy work that I am sure would pan out and more, but honestly, I am so very lazy. So very lazy, AND contrary. Getting my words out at all can be a challenge.

I won't even comment on Word.

Me? I use – and adore – Nisus Writer Express. Its laurel wreath is all made up of foreign language capabilities, which is why I was drawn to it in the first place, but it is a really dependable and totally quirky word pro for plain old English, too. I am not surprised that they offer their thesaurus for free download: it is BOMB. Simultaneously helpful and unbelievable, I haven't yet lost my amazement over the things it comes up with, even several years in. It is the genius that spat out the synonyms to tree listed at top.

Yes, it thinks ALL THOSE THINGS are more likely to be the word you might want to sub in for tree than oak, pine, aspen, wood, acacia, willow, or cedar. And if you type in a proper name and Nisus underlines it in red, and then you click learn, IT SUDDENLY KNOWS EVERYTHING.

Pushkin? Underlined in red. LEARN. Oh, you mean "Aleksandr Sergeyevich"? "Russia"? "Poet"?

Vladivostok? Underlined in red. LEARN. Oh, you mean "Russia"? "City"?

Dushanbe? Underlined in red. LEARN. Oh, you mean "capital of Tajikistan"? "Capital"? "Dyushambe"? "Tajikistan"? "STALINBAD"?

It does not, alas, no how to translate Voldemort into any real details. There are limits. All the same, I think that Nisus – or at least its thesaurus – has some crazy fun, wackadoo story going on inside its little binary brain, and every time I pause at words like tree to think where I want MY story to go next, I get jealous, and wish I could just jump inside the thesaurus and read what it has going on.

Because there IS NO SUCH THING AS A BUTTON TREE. Not in real life.

And that is NOT what I mean when I say "tree," Nisus.

Not this time, at least.

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