National Thesaurus Day, on January 18th, honors Peter Mark Roget, the author of Roget’s Thesaurus, who was born on this day in 1779.
In 1840, Roget retired from a successful career in medicine and spent the rest of his life working on “Roget’s Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases.” The work was the result of decades of collecting lists of words and categorizing them, much like a scientist would collect specimens. In Roget’s case, he collected words. He first published his thesaurus in 1852. And it was more than a book of synonyms – it was a complete categorization and organization of each word by meaning.
Since then, poets and writers have used the thesaurus to help make their writing come to life. However, the thesaurus also has its detractors. Some say the thesaurus weakens language and destroys it.
Whether you are looking for a more accurate word or trying to improve your writing, the thesaurus can be your best friend. Expanding your vocabulary increases both written and spoken communication skills, creative writing abilities, and can be helpful in advancing your career.