Flipped for the Flip Dictionary!

Writers use a wide variety of resources. You probably own a dictionary (or two!) and a thesaurus. Perhaps you have a market guide such as the Christian Writer’s Market Guide on your bookshelf.

You may use The Chicago Manual of StyleThe Elements of Style by Strunk and White, or The Christian Writer’s Manual of Style.

Or maybe you’ve read the classic book by William Zinsser: On Writing Well.

But have you flipped over the Flip Dictionary yet?

At first glance, the Flip Dictionary, by Barbara Ann Kipfer, appears to be just another thesaurus, albeit bigger, heavier, and more expensive. But don’t stop at your first glance. This writer’s reference book has become a favorite of mine. The quote on the cover explains why: “For when you know what you want to say but can’t think of the word.”

I reach for this reference whenever I find myself asking, “What’s it called when . . .?” or “What’s the word for . . .?”

For example, under “baseball terms”, you can learn that a pitcher’s illegal motion is called a balk. Or if you look up “clothes,” you’ll see a list of 111 different types of coats/overgarments. If you’re searching for the word that means “calendar of cases waiting,” look up “court terms” and learn the word you want is “docket.”

With two pages of horse terms, you’ll find that a horse farm is called a dobbin. A horse with gray or white coloring is called a roan. And in case you were wondering, a trot with high legs is called a piaffer.

If you’re writing a mystery, look up murder to learn that murder of a sister is sororicide, the murder of a wife is uxoricide, and murder by a secret government order is an “executive action.”

The Flip Dictionary is a resource you’ll turn to again and again. And it makes a great Christmas gift for the writer in your life!

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Ava Pennington is an author and speaker. Her book, Daily Reflections on the Names of God is published by Revell Books. For more information, visit her at www.AvaPennington.com.

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