A Brief History
On January 18, 2023, Americans celebrate another National Thesaurus Day, a day to be thankful for that reference book that helps us find other ways to say the same thing. Oddly enough, there is no other word for “thesaurus!”
Why do we choose to celebrate National Thesaurus Day on January 18th? Because that is the day of birth for Peter Mark Roget, back in 1779, the man that gave us Roget’s Thesaurus, a staple in every student’s desk.
At the age of 61, Roget retired from his career as a physician, and embarked on his true life’s work, creating and expanding his Thesaurus, or more exactly titled Roget’s Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases. The book was first published in 1852, and while exact numbers are hard to find, perhaps 33 million or more copies have been sold.
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For more information, please see…
Merriam-Webster. The Merriam-Webster Thesaurus. Merriam-Webster, Inc, 2005.
Princeton Language Institute. Roget’s 21st Century Thesaurus. Dell, 2005.
The featured image in this article, a photograph by Meritkosy of a thesaurus which lists words and their synonyms, is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.
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