All writers get stuck looking for the right word. Noticing that this was an acute problem for writers in the West because standard thesauruses face east, Scott Thybony started a file of western words. Sorting through spoken and written texts, he looked, as he puts it, for 'grounded talk', 'place-linked words, both rooted and wind-blown'. He ended up with a list of western place names, cowboyisms, American Indian words on permanent loan, Spanish terms, a sprinkling of Arabic, some scientific terms, and an assortment of random coinings, borrowings, and outright expropriations. Soon this evolved from a computer file to the book he calls Dry Rivers and Standing Rocks and describes as 'something resembling a thesaurus of western geography'. This book is full of information but it's not really a reference book. It reads like poetry. But you don't need to be a writer to appreciate it. Readers, teachers, hikers, cartographers, even crossword puzzlers will love this book. Neither scholarly nor comprehensive, it's a collection to make you think. It contains paired words like standing rock, grafts like snaggletooth, loners like hoodoo.
Publisher: University of New Mexico Press
Number of pages: 104
Weight: 264 g
Dimensions: 215 x 140 x 13 mm