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I am currently writing a FanFiction. However, given that it has long chapters, repitition of certain words makes certain parts tedious to read.

I recently saw xkcd's Simple Writer, which helps us to use the 1000 most common words in the English Language.

I want to ask, if there is such a service, but for the 1000/10000/etc most uncommon words?

Example: If I ask for an UncommonSynonym of 'Unspeakable', I get 'Egregious' or 'Infandous'.

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    Do you want uncommon words or uncommon synonyms (whatever that means)? – Hot Licks Oct 4 '17 at 11:37
  • @HotLicks I mean synonyms, that are also uncommon words. – MalayTheDynamo Oct 4 '17 at 11:38
  • But most words, even uncommon ones, have synonyms. – Hot Licks Oct 4 '17 at 11:40
  • @HotLicks I mean that, if I ask for an UncommonSynonym of 'Unspeakable', I get 'Egregious' or 'Infandous'. – MalayTheDynamo Oct 4 '17 at 11:42
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    Of course, if there were a readily accessible service of such a sort it might result in those words becoming less uncommon... Also, you might consider whether using words whose definition may only be found online in a subscription dictionary to be even more tedious for readers than a bit of repetition. – Spagirl Oct 4 '17 at 12:47
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's a request for resources – FumbleFingers Oct 4 '17 at 13:19
  • @FumbleFingers This has already been answered. Does closing it now serve a purpose? – MalayTheDynamo Oct 4 '17 at 13:23
  • @MalayTheDynamo: I don't understand. Are you saying that we shouldn't vote to close questions if someone has already posted an answer? I can't see the logic of that. – FumbleFingers Oct 4 '17 at 13:24
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    btw - do you really want a resource that could lead to you look as foolish as Canadian Immigraton Spokesman Alykhan Velshi on Channel 4? (infandous has been obsolete for centuries). – FumbleFingers Oct 4 '17 at 13:28
  • @FumbleFingers We close questions because the particular site isn't for answering that question. But if the question is answered, doesn't that mean that the site can answer that question and the question should therefore remain? – MalayTheDynamo Oct 4 '17 at 13:38
  • @FumbleFingers Infandous was an example. Rather extreme, but an example nonetheless. – MalayTheDynamo Oct 4 '17 at 14:00
  • This seems like an XY problem: your real problem is that you want to make your prose more interesting, but you've asked a question about how to make it laughable instead. Well, it'll certainly stand out . . . or should I say "indubitably rise erect"? – ruakh Oct 5 '17 at 2:42
  • I find that instead of looking up a synonym for a common word, it helps to expose yourself to lots of less common words an phrasings all the time, so that when you need something more interesting, it will already be in your brain. Sites like phrontistery.info or youtube.com/c/obscuresorrows can help. Also, read poetry. – ColleenV parted ways Nov 29 '17 at 1:22
  • @ColleenV Well, that's a good method. I just remembered how Poe coined the word tintinnambulating. – MalayTheDynamo Nov 29 '17 at 1:35
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The meaning of the question seems clear to me (I say this as there seems to be some confusion in the comments): get all synonyms of the word in question, and return the ones that are least commonly used.

For a view on frequency, you could use Google's Ngrams viewer, which has a large corpus of book texts.

This requires you to enter a comma-separated list of words or phrases, so the next step is to generate that list, e.g. from the results of an online thesaurus. This is relatively easily achieved if you don't mind getting your hands dirty with a bit of Javascript. :)

e.g.:

https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english-thesaurus/unspeakable

Open the developer console ( in Chrome and Firefox). Click the "console" tab. This will let you enter some Javascript. Enter this:

$.map($(".moreAnt .orth"), function(val,i){return $(val).html()}).join(",");

This will return a comma-separated list of words, which can then be copied into Ngrams. It looks like Ngrams has a maximum character size, and/or a maximum number of simultaneous searches, so you might want to search the terms 10 at a time, e.g.

  • dreadful,shocking,appalling,evil,awful,overwhelming,horrible,unbelievable monstrous,from hell
  • inconceivable,unimaginable,repellent,abysmal,frightful,heinous,odious,indescribable
  • loathsome,abominable,ineffable,beyond words,execrable,unutterable,inexpressible,
    beyond description,hellacious,too horrible for words

Of course, you could just type them yourself, if you don't want to get too technical.

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    Wow. This is exactly what I was looking for. – MalayTheDynamo Oct 4 '17 at 12:10
  • Happy to help. You probably need to find the most thorough thesaurus possible, if you want to get words like "infandous" back. – Max Williams Oct 4 '17 at 13:09
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    And, to be honest, once you have that thesaurus-which-includes-very-obscure-words, you can probably tell just by looking for words which you don't recognise, assuming you're already very familiar with English. – Max Williams Oct 5 '17 at 10:12
  • Yeah, I am. So that's a possibility. – MalayTheDynamo Oct 5 '17 at 10:13

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