in the zone

The good thing about is the way they list the most likely rhymes in boldface so that they stand out. For instance, I'm looking at "green" right now, and the boldface rhymes are sensible choices like "mean... seen... queen." Then we have non-bold rhymes like "glean" and "lien" -- possible, but less likely to come up in a lyric.  And then there are the obscure words listed in gray:  "kiehn... skeen... xene." I haven't seen that tactic in other rhyming dictionaries, but it's a big time saver.  Similarly, another good thing that rhymezone does is sort out the rhymes by syllables.  So, "mean... seen... queen" come first; then, under a separate heading, the 2-syllable rhymes, like "between" and "caffeine"; then the trilsyllabs... "magazine... trampoline... nectarine." This is very useful too, though they often take it to ridiculous lengths. Eight syllable rhymes for "green"...?  "Mean deviation from the mean" and "automated teller machine."  

The bad thing about is the way they often list words that DO NOT RHYME! My favorite example is "last," for which they list things like "lost" and "cost," and also things like "pass" and "ass."  Now, maybe a British person would pronounce "last" and "lost" to sound the same. But even so, you wouldn't list them as rhymes; they'd be identical.  (Rhymezone doesn't really care about identities. Need a rhyme for "bare"...? How about "bear" or "baer" or "bair" or "behr"...?) And then this business of a silent "t" in "last"... terrible!  It actually lists "lass" as a rhyme for "last" -- which, if it were true, would be another identity. And if "lost" and "lass" are both listed, then why not "loss"...?

Oh, here's a good one: for the word "her," rhymezone lists all of the following:

  • are
  • or & for
  • we're

I'm sure it's because people sometimes say "I'm lookin' fer..." or "What're you doing...?" etc.  Still a bad idea...

Even so, rhymezone is where I usually go to look.  I have my Clement Wood rhyming dictionary on the shelf.  But since I'm usually at the computer to write, it's faster to look something up online. Clement Wood is better on the word "last," but he has other problems.  He's a little nutty on the subject of vowel sounds. For instance, the vowel in "back" and "sack" is phonetically listed as an A-with-one-dot-over-it.  But the vowel in "plaque" is A-with-two-dots-over-it; "plaque" only rhymes with one other word according to Wood -- "Sarawak."  Similarly, Wood insists that "north" and "forth" do not rhyme. "Forth," he says, has a long O (with-a-line-over-it) while "north" has an shorter O (with-a-circumflex-over-it).  In my world those two words rhyme.  And sometimes it's hard to find your word under Wood's phonetic system.  Like if I'm looking for "hawk" is that gonna be some sort of A-with-dots-over-it, or will it be an O? (Turns out it's an O-with-circumflex.) 

I used to have a rhyming dictionary I loved:  Sammy Cahn's.  Lost it somehow.  But it was this thin little volume, in no way comprehensive.  It just listed Sammy-approved rhymes.  It was like a whole dictionary of just the rhymezone boldface entries... except Sammy wouldn't have tried to rhyme "last" with "lost" or "lass." And for"green" Sammy wouldn't have even bothered to list a word like "lien."  Sammy wrote songs for Frank Sinatra... and there was no way in hell the Chairman of the Board was gonna be singing about a lien.

[Now I'm wondering if Sammy listed "lien"... I don't have the book anymore so I don't really know.]

Musings Past