Creativity: ideas, thoughts, notions for a thesaurus

Share
Related Topics
Readers' ideas for creative application of a thesaurus divide neatly into two classes: those who thought they saw a thesaurus in Jurassic Park and the others, the rest, the remainder, the residue.

John Dyke says there's not much you can do with a thesaurus except dig it up and carbon date it. Some claim, he maintains, that it was a French tea-drinking lizard (thesaurus), others that it was the generic dinosaur (the-saurus).

Send it back to the Jurassic, advises Mollie Caird, where it can browse happily among the fragrant synonym bushes. Eric Bridgstock suggests extracting a DNA sample from a modern thesaurus to grow a sequel to Jurassic Park, possibly called Back to the Chambers. He also mentions that the WordPerfect thesaurus does not recognise the word "thesaurus".

A similar point is made by Mark Foley, who recommends that you buy a thesaurus from your local bookshop, try looking up the word "thesaurus", and demand your money back. (We don't use the things ourselves, but we are informed that if you want to find "thesaurus" in a thesaurus, you have to look up "dictionary".)

Read, peruse, scrutinise, construe, study it, says RJ Pickles, to increase, develop, enlarge, expand, widen, extend, stretch your vocabulary, lexicon glossary, etymology, language, phraseology.

A good party game, says GP Bowman, is to tear out all the pages of a thesaurus and rearrange them into a dictionary. He always recommends that everyone uses a good-quality thesaurus to look up words with similar meanings. Or alternatively, one incessantly expostulates that one and all utilise a humanitarian peculiarity lexicon to ameliorate spats with consanguineous denotations.

AJ Brewer tell us that:

The Thesaurus is a type of bird

Who'll never ever fly

His weight to volume ratio

Is very much too high.

He flapped his wings with vigour

And so it was he found

The weight of knowledge he contained

Kept him firmly on the ground.

Use a thesaurus, says Tom Gaunt, for swatting verbose insects. Also, he claims, for settling arguments: "Just hit the person you are arguing with on the head with a thesaurus and they'll soon see your point of view. This is known as argumentum ad hominem."

Equipped with a thesaurus, says Maurice Hulks, our army could jam the enemy's fax machines and bore them into submission. Equally belligerently Martin Brown points out that a thesaurus catapulted out of a hammock can crack a tortoise's shell at 50 paces.

"Thesaurus if porous will take up your make-up," says MA Higgs. "If not, you can jot folk's ages on t' pages."

Stuart Cockerill informs us that the International Commission on Scientific Nomenclature has identified the thesaurus as related to the tortoise, so all tortoidal ideas apply. He therefore advocates their use as prosthetic beer-bellies for visitors to Yorkshire. Roy Bland prefers using them as humps for Quasimodo impersonators.

Win it/one, says Nicholas E Gough. He does, and so do GP Bowman and Tom Gaunt. Next week, we shall discuss semi-colons.

Meanwhile, we are looking for things to do with escalators. Can you help? Ideas to: Creativity, the Independent, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL. Chambers Combined Dictionary-Thesaurus prizes for the best suggestions.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior Risk Manager - Banking - London - £650

£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...

Commercial Litigation Associate

Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - COMMERCIAL LITIGATION - GLOBAL...

Systems Manager - Dynamics AX

£65000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: The client is a...

Service Delivery Manager (Software Development, Testing)

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established software house ba...

Day In a Page

Read Next
The economy expanded by 0.8 per cent in the second quarter of 2014  

Government hails latest GDP figures, but there is still room for scepticism over this 'glorious recovery'

Ben Chu
Comedy queen: Miranda Hart has said that she is excited about working on the new film  

There is no such thing as a middle-class laugh

David Lister
Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little