The Positive Dictionary: Only Words With Positive Messages
By Dr. Phil Minnaar
EKSAL Quality Systems—Canada, 2006
141 pages—$12.95 (US)
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Book Review By Patricia Fry
Dr. Phil Minnaar has a PhD in educational management and computer science. He devised this book of words—all with positive connotations—in order to spread the message of the many benefits of a positive attitude toward life. The author says that anyone can use this dictionary to write more positive letters, but he also encourages writers to use it in their quest to choose the right word for the right situation.
I found it interesting that not all of the words included in this dictionary have what you would immediately consider a positive implication. For example, "eradicate" and "enable." But Minnaar puts a positive twist on each of the words he’s chosen for this book. For the word "enable," he suggests enabling the people around you to do their best. "Eradicate," in Minnaar’s dictionary, is used in terms of eradicating negative habits.
He couldn’t find any positive words that begin with the letter "x" and only four that begin with a "q." The "q" words are "qualify," "quality," "quest" and "quiet." He even lists positive words that begin with "z"— "zeal," "zealous" and "zest."
I particularly like the index, which is organized to correspond to the five basic elements of positive living. He lists fifteen value areas: Basic Values, which includes words such as "abide," "embrace," "humble," "sobriety," "truth" and "virtue"; Spiritual Values; Positive Outlook; Goodness and Health and Wellness, to mention a few.
While one of Minnaar’s purposes in self-publishing this book was to help folks in dire situations gain inspiration and confidence by adopting a more positive vocabulary, it might be a useful prompt for writers. If you’re a collector of word books, you may want to take a look at this one.