and entering

English Student Desperately Seeks Synonym for ‘Different'

COLUMBUS--A situation in the upstairs bedroom of 181 Oakwood Drive became desperate yesterday as 9th-grader Justin Kimbrell sought a synonym for “different” for his essay on A Tale of Two Cities.

The last-minute essay session comes two weeks after English teacher Shelly Kilfoyle’s assignment that students write about a prominent theme in Dickens’ classic tale of parallels between England and revolutionary-era France.

“I thought it would be easy to compare themes of darkness and light in the book,” said Kimbrell, “but I don’t know how else to say ‘dark and light produce different effects on the characters and the mood’ without using the word 'different' a million times.”

Kimbrell leafed through a copy of Roget’s Thesaurus and for the better part of two hours.

By page three of the six-page paper, all variations on “contrasting,” “distinct,” “opposite,” “unalike,” and “diverse” had been used up to describe how the mood when it was dark in the classic novel was different from when it was light.

“I really wanted to say that the shadows mentioned on Sydney Carton’s face foreshadow his death, which is different from the sun rays on Doctor Manette’s face, which symbolize rebirth,” said Kimbrell while skimming through Spark Notes on his Mac. “But dammit, that still uses the word ‘different’!”

Kimbrell even resorted to looking in other languages. “Do you think she’ll know that diferente isn’t English? What about différent?” he said.

Using the Microsoft Word right click à synonym option, Kimbrell discovered the phrase “as similar as chalk and cheese” as a potential source of points for originality.

“That should do,” he said, copying and pasting it into paragraph five.

As of two hours ago, Kimbrell was also searching for other ways to say “a lot,” “describe,” and “experience.”

© 2013