Intimidating thesaurus

His intimidation had worked upon her conscience and driven her to the confessional.

The Haitian incursion in 1995 used similar principles of intimidation to eliminate any real fighting.

A moment afterward Clif heard him in the act of striking a match.

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Everyone knows how college students will try to make themselves sound smarter by reaching for the thesaurus and using big, ponderous words they barely understand.

Taking a sentence and swapping in synonyms plucked from a thesaurus is bound to warp the meaning and clarity of a sentence, because synonyms are not mathematical equals: They all have slightly different shadings.

Describe someone as “angry” and it means one thing; describe them as “choleric” or “furious” or “splenetic” — all synonyms offered up by — and you’re saying something slightly different.

Where to Begin I titled this column "I Am," not merely because of my intense love of Neil Diamond, but also because this is the first poem I assign to my kids.