Visual Thesaurus?

A company called ThinkMap has invented a Visual Thesaurus, a kind of road map of word meanings — with word dots linked by straight lines.

It’s looks useful, practical, efficient, usable, but my online trial lasted two lookups which is hardly enough to demonstrate its usefulness. (Oops, apparently the trial limits the daily uses to two.)

There’s another catch for me, at least. The language is very British, both in written and spoken forms. (There is an audio pronunciation feature. But because I’m American, I really don’t speak like that.) Then, too, a synonym for dessert is “afters.” Say what? Again, this is British English. It might help me translate British to American English.

It found “copywriting” was related to “copy editing” as well as “typewriting, ” and distantly “employee.” (This last word looks like a full day’s drive from “copywriting.”)

As Truman Capote said of Jack Kerouac’s work: “That’s not writing, that’s typing.” (I don’t view “typewriting” as a close synonym of “copywriting.”)

I will consider this as a possible addition to my huge Synonym Finder by J.I. Rodale. The Visual Thesaurus may equal Rodale, but I don’t think it can beat that dog-eared old friend.

Prices? The online version of the new product is $20 a year or $3 a month; the product on your desktop with no internet connection needed is $30. At those prices, it is worth trying out, if you live in the UK or want to talk as if you do.