Geeking Out on the Thesaurus

Frustrated with the lack of rating standards in the publishing industry, specifically for how to determine if a book can be marketed as Y/A, I began working up a six-part post to be called PASSIONATE PROSE.  I have been looking at romance websites and blogs for quite a while, and the variety of rating systems for romance alone, differing from one website to another, boggled my mind.  What about people like me, writing in the sub-genre of science fiction romance?  Science fiction ‘fen’ do not have the same standards for ‘heat’ levels as romance readers do.  There appears to be no universal rating system, like movies, music, and TV.  Glaring at all the descriptions, I wondered about the language used in romance.  Naturally, I headed to and looked up the word passionate….

Folks, there were NINE PAGES to the entry.  The editor-in-my-brain attacked the entries with OCD-like ferocity.  To begin my analysis of the entries properly, I copied them into a Word document, re-deranged them like crazy using the awesome tools in that program, and spent a shameful amount of time entering them into an Excel spreadsheet.  I left each main entry up and included its one or two word description, but deleted the synonyms of the ‘negative’-sounding ones, as well as all antonyms.  I sorted them A-Z, and then sorted them by frequency.

When I do have time to analyze the list, it will be the fourth segment of my six-part post.  But for now, I look at all the excellent words mentioned only once in relation to the word passionate, and wonder how our society can stand to think of passion without more  loyal,  chivalrous  men,  determined  and  committed  to  the  breathless  ladies with whom they are  aspiring  to share their  extravagant,  soulful,  rapturous  passion?  After all, what else does it mean to be  in love?  I want  never-failing  romance!

For your viewing pleasure, here is the list I ended up with:

Word frequency:

passionate (31) (although there were a total of *snicker* 69 entries for the word!),  ardent (20),   fervent (18),  enthusiastic (15),  impassioned  (14),  zealous (14),  excited (13),  fervid (11),  hot  (11),  intense (11),  eager (10),  earnest (9),  erotic (9)

Other word frequencies:

Eight mentions:  burning,  loving,  romantic,  tender,  warm

Seven mentions:  amorous,  avid,  desirous,  devoted,  keen,  sentimental,  vehement

Six mentions:  animated,  blazing,  fanatical,  fiery,  heated  hot-blooded,  lustful,  spirited,  wholehearted

Five mentions:  affectionate,  emotional,  lively,  lovey-dovey,  red-hot,  sincere

Four mentions:  angry,  anxious,  deep,  demonstrative,  effusive,  fierce,  fired up,  flaming,  fond,  glowing,  gung ho,  heartfelt,  hearty,  mushy,  sensual,  sexy,  tear-jerking,  touching,  violent

Three mentions:  amatory,  aroused,  carnal,  concupiscent,  corny,  dedicated,  devout,  doting,  dreamy,  dying to,  ecstatic,  excitable,  expressive,  genuine,  gushing,  idealistic,  inspired,  languishing,  lascivious,  libidinous,  maudlin,  moving,  nostalgic,  overemotional,  pathetic,  prurient,  rash,  responsive,  serious,  sloppy,  steamy,  stirring,  sultry,  syrupy,  turned-on,  unfeigned,  visionary,  voluptuous,  wanton,  warmhearted,  white-hot

Two mentions:  admiring,  adoring,  affected,  affecting,  agog,  aphrodisiac,  athirst,  attached,  attracted,  bathetic,  concerned,  cordial,  covetous,  dewy-eyed,  ebullient,  enamored,  energetic,  enthused,  exciting,  exuberant,  faithful,  feeling,  feverish,  frank,  friendly,  generous,  gotta have,  grasping,  greedy,  gushy,  heavy,  horny,  hungry,  hysterical,  impetuous,  impressionable,  impulsive,  inane,  infatuated,  insipid,  irascible,  itchy,  jejune,  keyed up,  lovesick,  moonstruck,  nutty,  obsessed,  overacted,  perfervid,  pious,  poignant,  profound,  rabid,  ravenous,  real,  religious,  reverent,  rhapsodic,  rosewater,  saccharine,  salacious,  sappy,  schmaltzy,  sensuous,  silly,  simpering,  slushy,  soapy,  softhearted,  starry-eyed,  stimulated,  stirred,  stormy,  sugary,  sweet,  tearful,  temperamental,  thirsty,  thrilled,  torrid,  unqualified,  unreserved,  upset,  vapid,  very enthusiastic,  vigorous,  vivacious,  vivid,  weepy,  wild,  willing,  yearning

One mention:  abiding,  ablaze,  acquisitive,  adherent,  adulatory,  adventurous,  affable,  afire,  aggressive,  agitated,  amative,  ambitious,  amiable,  animal,  animalistic,  antsy,  appreciative,  aspiring,  attentive,  authentic,  avaricious,  back-slapping,  banzai,  benevolent,  bestial,  bona fide,  bound up,  boy crazy,  breathless,  bright,  bugged,  candid,  can-do,  caring,  charming,  cheerful,  cheery,  chimerical,  chivalrous,  coarse,  colorful,  coming on strong,  committed,  complete,  complimentary,  compulsive,  confused,  considerate,  crabby,  craving,  crazy about,  daring,  dear,  debauched,  deepest,  deep-felt,  desirable  desiring,  destructive,  determined,  disturbed,  driving,  emotive,  emphatic,  enchanting,  enduring,  epicurean,  eulogistic,  exhilarated,  exotic,  extravagant,  fairy-tale,  falling apart,  fanatical,  fanatic,  fanciful,  fantastic,  fascinated,  fascinating,  fast,  fevered,  fickle,  fireball,  fleshly,  forceful,  frenetic,  frenzied,  furious,  gaga,  gay,  generative,  genial,  genital,  genitive,  girl crazy,  glad,  glamorous,  godly,  gone on,  goody two-shoes,  goody-goody,  happy,  have a crush on,  heart-and-soul,  heartwarming,  hedonic,  hedonistic,  histrionic,  holy,  honest,  hopeful,  hopped up,  hot and heavy,  hot for,  hot-headed,  hotshot and heavy,  idolatrous,  idyllic,  ill-considered,  impatient,  impractical,  impure,  in love,  incontinent,  inflamed,  insatiable,  intent,  interested,  intimate,  irrational,  irritable,  jolly,  jovial,  kind,  laudatory,  lecherous,  lewd,  libertine,  liking,  longing,  loose,  loyal,  lurid,  lusty,  mawkish,  meaningful,  melodramatic,  menacing,  moody,  mysterious,  neighborly,  nervous,  never-failing,  obscene,  obsessive,  orthodox,  overenthusiastic,  overwrought,  painful,  panegyrical,  peppery,  picturesque,  pietistic,  pleased,  pleasure-seeking,  poetic,  possessed,  powerful,  prayerful,  precipitant,  prehensile,  proactive,  procreative,  profuse,  provocative,  psyched,  pumped,  pushy,  quick-tempered,  quixotic,  raging,  rapacious,  rapturous,  ready,  reproductive,  respecting,  revealing,  reverential,  revering,  ripe,  roused,  rousing,  sarcastic,  satiric,  scintillating,  seductive,  self-starting,  sensitive,  sensualistic,  sentient,  sexual,  sexually excited,  sharing,  sincerely believing,  sobby,  soft,  solicitous,  soppy,  sot,  soulful,  spontaneous,  steadfast,  steady,  steamed up,  sure,  susceptible,  sweet for,  sweet on,  sybaritic,  take-charge,  tantalized,  telling,  tempestuous,  thoughtful,  thrilling,  titillated,  tumultuous,  unchaste,  unconsidered,  unfaltering,  unquestioning,  unrealistic,  unrestrained,  unstinting,  unwavering,  utopian,  valuing,  venerating,  venereal,  very angry,  very excited,  vixens,  voluptuary,  voracious,  wacky,  whimsical,  wicked,  wild about,  wild-eyed,  wishful,  wishing,  wistful,  wooing,  worked up,  worshipful,  worshiping,  X-rated

◊ ◊ ◊

Eva Caye holds distinctive opinions on writing and authorship and has published four of her eight completed novels in the To Be Sinclair series.  Visit her blog The Spiraling Mind for more articles on love, literature, and the travails of indie authors.  You can find Eva Caye at:

Amazon Author Central:





Categories: The Writing Life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>