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Get to the Point

Is AI Your New Thesaurus?

By Theda C. Snyder

For advice on how to vary your vocabulary, generative AI could be your new thesaurus. But don’t get rid of your style guides just yet.

Is AI your new thesaurus

It’s January 18 — happy National Thesaurus Day!

Get to the Point is a big fan of using every tool to communicate more effectively. We’ve previously discussed whether Google can substitute for your dictionary. In 2024, generative artificial intelligence is what everybody’s talking about.

More Results

Maybe you want to get creative in your marketing using a variety of terms for a lawyer. Thesaurus.com suggests the following synonyms for an advocate:  backer, campaigner, defender, lawyer, promoter, proponent, supporter, apostle, attorney, champion, counsel, exponent, expounder, pleader, proposer,  speaker, spokesperson, upholder.

ChatGPT came up with these additional lawyer synonyms: solicitor, barrister, jurist, legalist, litigator, esquire, prosecutor, legal eagle.

A Google search unearthed even more, including these snarky alternatives you could use in certain situations (though we frown on their use from an ethics standpoint): ambulance chaser, shyster, mouthpiece, fixer.

I Got You, Babe

Maybe you want to assure prospects that you will be there for them.

When asked for suggestions for a synonym for a lawyer for a marketing campaign, ChatGPT suggested these phrases:

  • “Your Legal Guardians”
  • “Advocates for Your Legal Rights”
  • “Champions of Your Justice”
  • “Your Legal Safety Net”
  • “Your Trusted Legal Allies”
  • “Defenders of Your Rights”
  • “Your Reliable Legal Support”
  • “Guardians of Your Legal Interests”
  • “Your Shield in the Legal Arena”

This response certainly goes beyond what you could come up with using a thesaurus.

You Know About the Mistakes

Just because AI suggests a synonym doesn’t mean it’s appropriate in context or even accurate. An AI hallucination occurs when the response to a query is completely untrue. A number of attorneys have made the news for relying on AI instead of reliable research databases. When further questioned, AI will not only double down and assure the user that the result is correct, AI will go so far as to manufacture a fake judicial opinion.

One of the words found in the traditional thesaurus, apostle, is certainly not a synonym for a lawyer. Do not use an unfamiliar word from any source unless you confirm its meaning in a real dictionary, not AI.

Just as with any use of AI, you should view it as an aid to creating a draft; its output is not your finished product. You can’t throw away your dictionary, thesaurus, and style guide apps and books yet.

Get to the Point
Read more of Teddy Snyder’s writing tips!

Photo © iStockPhoto.com

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Teddy Snyder Theda C. Snyder

Theda “Teddy” Snyder mediates civil disputes, workers’ compensation and insurance coverage cases, including COVID-19 related coverage disputes, in person or by video. Teddy has practiced in a variety of settings and frequently speaks and writes about settlements and the business of law. She was a Fellow of the College of Law Practice Management and is the author of four ABA books, including “Women Rainmakers’ Best Marketing Tips, 4th Edition” as well as “Personal Injury Case Evaluation” available on Amazon.com. Based in Los Angeles, Teddy can be found at SnyderMediations.com and on Twitter @SnyderMediation.

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