Kudos to Peter Roget

I’m a word nerd. I admit it. So, I embrace today, Jan. 18, because it’s Thesaurus Day!

It pretty much juices me to sleuth out that perfect turn of phrase to represent exactly what I’m after in a sentence. And the best way I’ve found to hunt for that exact right word is using a handy dandy thesaurus.

It’s a most useful tool to get the creative juices flowing and pinpoint that just-right word. Personally, I relish researching various synonyms – and antonyms – and ping ponging from one word list to the next until I settle on the perfect term to match my meaning.

Take the word “meaning,” for example. A thesaurus could send you to “connotation,” “gist,” “importance,” “implication,” “value,” “import,” and many others. Each carries a very different insinuation, depending on what you’re trying to convey. Then, I find it incredibly cool to bounce around from each of these words, uncovering alternatives that evoke an even larger variety of options.

And one more thing that’s cool: the original author.

Peter Mark Roget drafted his first catalog of words in 1805 and his namesake is still today’s go-to source for alternate words, Roget’s Thesaurus. He was born in 1779 and became a physician and scientist in England.

Studying Latin as a boy, he was inspired by a passion for words and was just 26 when he compiled that first organized list of synonyms and thematic topics. By the way, the word “thesaurus” has Latin roots of “treasure” or “treasury.” Roget retired at 69 and sources note he continued working to tweak volumes of word classifications until he died at 90 in 1869, working on about 28 editions of Roget’s Thesaurus in all.

Today, let’s salute Roget – hats off…and caps, bonnets, sou’westers, fedoras, chapeaus and lids too!