Saturday, September 21, 2013

A Word Wrangler's Lasso

 Masterwriter 2.0 is a suite of word-finding tools assembled into one package:

Word Families
A unique and revolutionary reference dictionary, that will open up a new world of possibilities for descriptive words and ideas.
Parts of Speech
A comprehensive list of descriptive words, with various filters including alliterations, that allow the writer to be more specific.
A collection of over 33,000 phrases, sayings, idioms, and word combinations.
The ultimate Rhyming Dictionary with over 100,000 entries, 36,000 Rhymed-Phrases, and the most comprehensive list of Close Rhymes ever created. Rhymes from our Pop-Culture Dictionary are also included.
Pop Culture
A Pop-Culture Dictionary with over 11,000 icons of American and World Culture.
The Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary. 165,000 entries, 225,000 definitions,
and 10,000 new words and senses.
The Merriam-Webster Collegiate Thesaurus. Over 340,000 synonyms, antonyms, related
and contrasted words, and idioms.

This isn't a review as I've not actually used the software yet which is why I took the tool descriptions off the MW site overview page and put them in quotes.

Not sure what to call this.  A wish-upon-a-far-flung-star?

The software was designed by songwriters for songwriters, lyric writers and poets but it looks equally useful for any kind of writer.  On the Amazon site there were two versions this one and one for the Creative Writer that did not have the Rhyming Dictionary or the Audio features that allows import of music tracks but on the MW site there was no mention at all of the Creative Writer version.

More mystifying than that was the fact that the two versions on Amazon were the same price though value had been removed and not replaced with equivalent value..  At nearly $200 with no upgrade support, a fairly steep price at that.

For unlimited upgrade support you need to lease from MW for a monthly ($9.95) or annual ($99) fee.

To further my confusion there were differences in the description of the tools between the Amazon site and the Masterwriters site.  On Amazon the dictionary and thesaurus were listed as American Heritage and Synonym Finder which I think are better choices.  Especially the Rodale Synonym Finder with its nearly one-million words which I have depended on for three decades and have long desired a searchable electronic version.

Both Amazon and MW call it version 2.0.  So the question becomes which site has the most up-to-date information?

Since I do write poetry as well as stories, essays, blog posts and the current training in copywriting, I would want the songwriter's package.

I think that pop culture dictionary and the phrase dictionary would prove invaluable for copywriting.

Besides the steep-for-me price and the wondering which thesaurus and dictionary is really on board the requirements paragraphs on both Masterwriter and Amazon lacked clarity.  I had to search out and read nearly a dozen online reviews before I was able to learn that yes, Masterwriter will run on Windows 8 tho XP is recommended.  Hmmm.  Gives me more than a bit of pause.  No explanation as to why.

Then there is the issue of the small font.  Always a concern for my visual challenges.  But I use other aps with that issue and have workarounds.

A lot to give me pause.  And yet...

And yet I still yearn.

Because the ability to search such a huge collection of words and phrases and filter by connotation, part of speech, alliteration, rhyme, intensity, number of syllables and positive/negative attributes then save them in favorites lists and collections attached to projects is the equivalent of a cowboy's lasso for the word wrangler. Not just invaluable but essential.

0 tell me a story:

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