ON-LINE THESAURESES: IS LOW-TECH BETTER?
Author: Franklin Sykes, M.U.D. slinger
Date: October November, 1992
Keywords: writing write thesaurus wordfinder plus
Text: By , in the July 1992 issue of The (Macintosh Users of Delaware Newsletter) Probably everyone got an ad from TigerSoftware offering them WordFinder Plus. Like so many others, it looked like a good deal. After claiming to offer ''a few examples of how [their thesaurus] outperforms any other thesaurus,'' they listed three examples. I decided to check how their results compared with using a good old low-tech Roget's Thesaurus. WordFinder Plus found 32 synonyms for the word ''exotic.'' Roget's came up with 132. ''Charming'' gave 110 synonyms in WordFinder Plus, 135 in Roget's. And ''business'' resulted in 65 synonyms in Word-Finder Plus, 324 in Roget's. Finally, you can get a copy of Roget's Thesaurus at a book store for around $6. Sure, the on-line thesaurus offers the ability to quickly insert the word of choice into your document. However, for selection and price, there's simply no contest for anyone who still remembers how to inter-face with a hardcopy thesaurus. (Editor's note: The latest TigerSoftware catalog offers WordFinder Plus, bundled with an electronic version of Strunk & White's Elements of Style, a paper back version of WordFinder, and CheckFree electronic bill paying software, all for $29.90. A recent review of the electronic version of Elements of Style describes it as a very poor substitute for Strunk & White's classic book. At least two reviews of Check-Free mention that, while it is convenient to use, a small percentage of users have had problems with some bills not being payed on time. Also, there are monthly charges for using CheckFree. I have seen it bundled with a number of other applications.)
Copyright © october november, 1992 by Franklin Sykes, M.U.D. slinger