I suspect I’m not the only writer who lands in a word trap, or maybe more of a word merry-go-round! It’s when it dawns on you that you have used certain words or phrases over and over and…
Where would any writer be without the Thesaurus? Yes, is does sound like some sort of dinosaur, but it is, in fact, the best friend a writer has. Today we honor the man who came up with the brilliant idea to write this wonderful book. Today is THESAURUS DAY!!!
Peter Mark Roget was born in London, the son of a Swiss minister. He studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh, graduating in 1798. Both his father and his wife died young, and his uncle, Samuel Romilly, committed suicide in Roget’s presence. He struggled with depression for most of his life. His work on the thesaurus arose partly from an effort to battle depression.
Roget retired in 1840 and around 1848 began preparing for publication a catalogue of words organized by their meanings. It’s first printed edition, in 1852, was called THESAURUS OF ENGLISH WORDS AND PHRASES CLASSIFIED AND ARRANGED SO AS TO FACILITATE THE EXPRESSION OF IDEAS AND ASSIST IN LITERARY COMPOSITION.
LOL – can you imagine getting all that on the front cover of a book?
During his lifetime the work had twenty-eight printings; after his death it was revised and expanded by his son, John Lewis Roget (1828-1908), and later by John’s son, Samuel Romilly Roget (1875-?).
It’s an example of how something so helpful can come from an otherwise troubled mind and heart. God can make something good out of the worst of circumstances. I hope Mr. Roget found peace and knew Jesus by the end of his life.
Writers everywhere thank you, Mr. Roget, for your Thesaurus. Nowadays, we don’t have to tote a Dictionary and a Thesaurus around with us because there are apps on our computers! That makes life so much easier – and saves us much lower back and knee pain.
I’m fascinated with words and enjoy learning new ways to express my thoughts. For instance, I’ll bet you thought GOBBLE was a sound you make to imitate the sound of a turkey at Thanksgiving, didn’t you? Well, there’s more to it than that.
There are many ways to partake in a meal:
If your appetite is slight, then you might peck and nibble, but if you’re famished, you’re more likely to gobble. This word, which means both “to eat hastily” and “to make the throaty cry of a male turkey,” is thought to be from the word gob, which is slang for mouth. Both definitions could be fun to try out at the dinner table or in a new poem about Thanksgiving. Hmm…
Yes, I know there are ten months until Thanksgiving – but you will remember, right? 😉