Do you want to make what you say and write in English interesting, compelling, absorbing, amusing, entertaining, exciting, stimulating, inspiring? If you do, you need to have a fluent command of adjectives. Yes, adjectives. And this thesaurus aims to help you strive for that fluent command.
Now, why is it that you should have a fluent command of adjectives if you want to make what you say or write interesting?
The answer is this: The things that make what you say or write interesting are details. Yes, details – interesting, important particulars and information about the people and things you refer to in what you say or write. These details often help you to change slightly the meanings of words you use to refer to people and things – and to make them more suitable for a particular context. And these details can also help you to make statements about people and things – statements that describe them, and statements that comment on, clarify or evaluate something to do with them.
And, broadly speaking, adjectives are the words whose sole function is to help you add these details.
For one thing, these descriptive details and comments make what you say and write stop sounding boring, tedious, dull, pedestrian and tiresome. For another, they add variety, colour, character, life and spirit to it. Mind you, without adjectives, a long stretch of speech or writing would sound more like an outline or overview of a topic – and not like a full presentation or lucid narrative. And so, without adjectives, what you say or write would be lifeless and dull.
So if you use adjectives and add descriptive details, you’ll benefit in two ways: First, your speech and writing would become lively and interesting – and filled with warmth and other feelings. Second, what you say or write would produce clearer pictures in the minds of your listeners or readers. In this way, what you say and write would become easier for them to understand.
In fact, it would be impossible for anyone to speak or write naturally beyond a few short sentences without adjectives.
But don’t let all this give you a wrong impression: Adjectives are not the only means of adding descriptive or evaluative details. Nouns also can do that to some extent. So can verbs and adverbs. But when it comes to describing or evaluating something, adjectives are in a class of their own. This is because their sole function, in a sense, is to add descriptive and evaluative details. And they can do this in a shorter and quicker way than in ways that nouns and verbs can. And what’s more, they can do this by expressing finer shades of meanings beyond those that nouns or verbs can.
The point is this: Adjectives add details, colour and interest to your speech and writing in ways that other classes of words cannot. In this way, adjectives help you to express your ideas, opinions, emotions and feelings extremely well and in an interesting way. And they can help you to make what you say or write very effective in influencing and persuading people. In other words, adjectives make the English you use sound eloquent.
Now let me ask you: While you’re speaking or writing in English, do the adjectives you need occur to you readily and easily – or do they just remain on the tip of your tongue and refuse to come out? In fact, most people (almost everyone, so to speak) have this problem: They feel certain that they know the word they need in a particular verbal context, but they just can’t remember it – or a synonym or near-synonym for it. To most people, this problem is all the more serious when they have an in-depth discussion or write an in-depth report – that too, about a difficult topic.
So my aim in bringing out this book is this: To provide you with a learning-cum-reference tool – a tool that helps you improve your ability to readily recall the adjectives you need (or their synonyms or near-synonyms) while you’re speaking or writing.
And I hope you’ll find this book fascinating – and useful.
I want to hear from you. If you have any comments, do send them to me (care of the publisher).
Kochi, September, 2010.