| = oh yes, those X's can be quite a problem! :)|
|I think you've brought an interesting tool to light -- a much under-used and even scorned tool, yet there, at our fingertips, lies the greatest wealth of words... and words, for us writers, are our greatest prize.|
The exercises you suggest are most helpful for both the developed writer and the novice, opening new doors to meanings and the qualities of words, their diversity and their fun! Quite often one might find the words used in the explanation of a meaning even more stimulating that the word originally looked-up. In fact, after a dry spell of some three weeks with no fruitful stimulus, I took out my dictionaries and browsed through them, 'collecting' interesting words. This spurred me on and I wrote an entire collection called Alphabytes, dedicated to individual letters of the alphabet. Looking back on them now, since they were really only done as a ental exercise, I can see places that require editing and improvements - plenty of places - but, for me, it broke that stubbornly wordless period of time and opened all manner of vistas. So thanks again for bringing this to light.. between a dictionary's covers are the gems of history, of how our language has evolved and meanings garnered.