Synonyms: shine, gleam, sparkle

Shine defined:  Shine is defined as brightness, light or luster. A gold ring that has just been cleaned and polished is an example of something that has a shine. NOUN–Your Dictionary.com

Gleam defined:

  1. a flash or beam of light
  2. a faint light
  3. a reflected brightness, as from a polished surface
  4. a brief, faint manifestation or trace, as of hope, understanding, etc.

NOUN–Your Dictionary.com

Sparkle defined:

  • a spark or glowing particle
  • a sparkling, or glittering
  • brilliance; liveliness; vivacity

NOUN–Your Dictionary.com

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Synonyms: enormous, tremendous, huge

Enormous defined:  (comparative more enormous, superlative most enormous) ADJECTIVE

  1. (obsolete) Deviating from the norm; unusual, extraordinary.
  2. (obsolete) Exceedingly wicked; atrocious or outrageous.  
  3. Extremely large; greatly exceeding the common size, extent, etc.–Wiktionary.org

Tremendous defined:  something wonderful, or something large in size or scale. ADJECTIVE

An example of someone who would be described as a tremendous singer is a person who has just won an award for Singer of the Year.
An example of something that would be described as a tremendous mess is a gigantic mess.–Your Dictionary.com

Huge defined:  very large or extensive  ADJECTIVE

a : of great size or area
b : great in scale or degree <a huge deficit>
c : great in scope or character <a dancer of huge talent>–Merriam-Webster.com

Synonyms: mystery, puzzle, quandary

Mystery defined: something that is a secret, something where there is no clear explanation, something difficult to understand or explain or something unexplainable or unsolvable.   NOUN

  1. An example of a mystery is the location of your Christmas presents.
  2. An example of a mystery is whether there is proof that God exists.
  3. An example of a mystery is how exactly people came to be.
  4. An example of a mystery is a situation where it is unclear who committed a crime. —Your Dictionary.com

Puzzle defined:  a question or problem that requires thought, skill, or cleverness to be answered or solved: something or someone that is difficult to understand  NOUN–Merriam-Webster.com

Quandary defined:  a situation or circumstance that presents problems difficult to solve; predicament; dilemma NOUN–Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003

Synonyms: excuse, reason, cause

I am referring to the NOUN forms of these three words.  An excuse, a reason, a cause.

Some sentences:

To be absent from school you need an excuse, a reason, or a cause.

There is no excuse for bad behavior, but there is likely a reason for it and a cause.

Drought is the reason for the high water prices.  Climate change is the cause of the drought.  There is no excuse for unnatural global warming.

Here the use of these synonyms has moved from the general to the specific.  Excuse, reason, and cause are interchangeable in general.  But their definitions define and delimit their reach.

Excuse defined:  an explanation or a reason for an action.  An example of an excuse is a student saying that his dog ate his homework.

  1. An explanation offered to justify or obtain forgiveness.
  2. A reason or grounds for excusing: Ignorance is no excuse for breaking the law.
  3. The act of excusing.
  4. A note explaining an absence.

Reason defined:  the cause for something to happen or the power of your brain to think, understand and engage in logical thought.

  1. An example of reason is when you are late because your car ran out of gas.
  2. An example of reason is the ability to think logically.

Cause defined:  anyone or anything that brings about a result.  An example of cause is a washing machine making clothes clean.

  • anything producing an effect or result
  • a person or thing acting voluntarily or involuntarily as the agent that brings about an effect or result: drinking was the cause of his downfall
  • a reason, motive, or ground for some action, feeling, etc.; esp., sufficient reason: cause for complaint
  • any objective or movement that a person or group is interested in and supports, esp. one involving social reform

Definitions from Your Dictionary.com

Synonyms: correct, right, true

Correct defined:  something true, right or proper.  An example of correct used as an adjective is the phrase “correct procedure,” such as baking a cheese cake in a springform pan is the correct procedure.  ADJECTIVE–Your Dictionary.com

It wasn’t until the televised O.J. Simpson trial that I heard the word correct used as affirmative.  If someone asks you a question, how do you answer them in the affirmative?  Do you say “yes?”

Question: “And it was after the second thump that you heard the door close?”  

Answer: “Yes.”

Or do you answer right?  Or true? How about correct?  That’s right, that’s true, or that’s correct are all proper answers in the affirmative.  They each have in them an adjective that describes that which is a reference to the question–providing the question is asked in such a way that a yes answer will do–or to a statement.  (Lawyers are skilled at asking rhetorical questions.) But consider the following:

Do you want mashed potatoes with pork chops tonight?

Did you take the car to the car wash today?

Did you hear that?

Would that is correct answer any of them?  I don’t think so. The best answer would be a simple yes or no.  But if asked, “You knew there was only one potato left before you asked for mashed potatoes for dinner didn’t you,” could you answer correct?  The question implies the answer is affirmative (rhetorical), so I think correct would work.  However, if you re-read the definition of correct above, you will see that to correct (VERB) and correct (as in correct procedure) (ADJECTIVE) in no way translate to one word answers.  I think correct used as an affirmative should be left in the courtroom, if it must be used in that capacity at all.  That in mind, read the following definitions of right and true.

Right defined:  something is the correct, proper or moral choice or something that is true or correct.  NOUN

  1. An example of right is honesty.
  2. An example of right is an answer that is correct.  (ADJECTIVE) —Your Dictionary.com

True defined:  being loyal, something that is real, factually correct, accurate or provable.  ADJECTIVE

  1. An example of true is a friend who is loyal and honest.
  2. An example of true is a fact that has been proven to be correct. —Your Dictionary.com

Synonyms: assuage, relieve, quiet

Assuage defined:  to make better or lessen; fulfill the needs of; to pacify  VERB —Your Dictionary.com

Some definitions equate assuage with the ministering of a nurse.   Assuage would best describe a caring act.  The kindness accompanied by the relieving or the quieting of a problem.  So to relieve someone or to quiet their ills is to assuage them.

Relieve and quiet used this way bring to mind the tender attentions of a parent, perhaps.  As synonyms of assuage, they seem to convey the kindness and caring of that word as opposed to a word that means simply to stop; stopping the pain is not to assuage the pain.

Relieve defined:  to reduce or remove (something, such as pain or an unpleasant feeling) : to make (a problem) less serious  VERB–Merriam-Webster.com

Quiet defined:

14. to make quiet.
15. to make tranquil or peaceful; pacify.
16. to calm mentally, as a person.
17. to allay (tumult, doubt, fear, etc.).
18. to silence.