McCutcheon, who also authored The Facts On File Student's Thesaurus, has revised this thematic glossary, last published in 2000, by adding new categories of words or phrases and updating definitions of existing ones. It now includes thousands of descriptions of terms organized into 24 categories. Some of the new categories include "Urban Street and Rap Slang," "Mafia/Organized Crime Terms and Slang," "British Words and Slang," "Astronomy," and "Furniture." Every category has at least one and up to 35 subcategories (e.g., "Sexuality" is a subcategory of "Human Body and Mind"). If you need to look up a word in a subject area, you can turn to the appropriate category and browse the list of words related to it. A separate section lists over 1000 "Words and Expressions You Should Know," which appear regularly in popular news magazines and speeches. This is the only section including parts of speech and pronunciations, a feature that would have been useful in the main body of the work. Bottom Line Thematic glossaries, like visual dictionaries, are interesting to browse but remain of limited reference use. Still, they nicely complement thesauruses, allowing users to brush up on the vocabulary in a given area before attending a lecture or presentation. This is an optional purchase for high school and public libraries, as well as academic writing centers.-Rosanne M. Cordell, Indiana Univ. Lib., South Bend Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
YA-- A dictionary of generic terms or ``buzz words'' of over 20 categories that include the environment, animals, the human body and mind, performing arts and broadcasting, sports, the law, medicine, finance, the military, language, food and drink, and electronics. The book is both fun and useful. The definitions are easy to understand, and YAs can use it to gain a feel for a particular subject or to define a specific word in its thematic use. Its only faults are that subject-area terminology is not all inclusive and specialized subjects need illustrations to clarify definitions. Still, it's an enjoyable and worthwhile reference book.
For when you know what it is but not what it's called, this ingenious combination of reverse dictionary and thesaurus supplies thousands of descriptions of terms that are organized into 22 broad and 194 narrower categories, so that you won't have to use words like whatchamacallit again. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)