National Thesaurus Day:
Celebrated annually on every 18th January, the National Thesaurus Day is observed to recognize the meticulous work of Peter Mark Roget; the thesaurus! Have you ever experienced the figurative tongue-tie? When you have to convey a message or thought, being at a loss of words is an embarrassing situation. Don’t you worry, all you need is a thesaurus to prep you up with an exhaustive word collection for any situation!
Related: Other National Days Celebrated on January 18th:
Why National Thesaurus Day?
To communicate an idea, you need words! Only the right words create the right impact on the listeners and readers. A thesaurus is a storehouse of words and is used as a reference to find synonyms and even antonyms of any word you can or cannot think of.
Historically many scholars have produced works similar to the thesaurus we have today. The earliest recorded work is that of Philo of Bylos estimated to be compiled between the1st and 2nd century CE. He compiled a list of greek synonyms in the book titled ‘On Synonyms’. To name a few, John Wilkins, Gabriel Girard, George Crabb are other scholars who worked on compiling synonyms.
Peter Mark Roget, a physician, and lexicographer published his work on synonyms in 1852, which is considered as the first modern thesaurus. The word thesaurus is derived from Latin and is translated as treasure. Earlier a thesaurus was considered to be an encyclopedia or dictionary. It was Roget who gave the new definition to the term thesaurus, as a collection of words, arranged according to sense.
Roget’s thesaurus originally consisted of 15,000 words and was classified into six basic categories- quantity, time, number, relation, and existence. After his demise, the thesaurus was expanded by his son John Lewis Roget and his grandson Samuel Romily Roget. The book now consists of 23,000 words and the book is organized based on concepts rather than the alphabetic listing..
One might wonder, how a physician could squeeze out time to produce such work. According to a biographer, Roget’s obsession with list-making goes way back to his childhood. The habit developed as his coping mechanism and was well-established at the age of 8. and His constructive coping mechanism led to the creation of thesaurus even while he struggled with depression throughout His life.
Whether you are a student trying to belt out an exemplary essay or a struggling writer trying to give life to your imagination through the medium of writing, a thesaurus is a must-have reference tool. Having a good vocabulary can also give you the edge on job interviews and marketing careers!
A thesaurus when used rightly can make drastic changes in your writing and communication skills, enabling you to write and speak with more clarity. Even when you are facing writer’s block, a glance at a thesaurus might spark new ideas. Let’s celebrate the National Thesaurus in the memory of Peter Mark Roget, whose efforts made our lives much comprehensible through his work of a lifetime!
How Can We Celebrate National Thesaurus Day?
- Appreciate, Enjoy, Relish.
Check out the synonyms of the most common words and use them in your conservations. Your friends are bound to ask the meaning, so do share the story of the thesaurus along with the meaning of your new-found words.
- Battle Like Roget
If you or any of your loved ones are diagnosed with depression or similar conditions, take inspiration from our man Roget and battle the darkness with constructive habits. Share his story and share the hope!
- Subscribe To Dictionary Sites
You can learn a new word every day directly from your inbox!
- Grammar Nazi’s Festival
Be a grammar Nazi throughout the day and correct your friends and family for grammatical errors and poor word choice using #NationalThesaurusDay and #ThesaurusDay.
Interesting facts About National Thesaurus Day:
- Roget’s thesaurus continues to be a tool in demand even in the 21st century.
- Thesauri or thesauruses is the plural term for thesaurus.
- The log-log slide rule, a device that helps to calculate the root and exponent of numbers is another product of Peter Mark Roget’s hard work and brilliance.
- Mel Bochner, a conceptual artist produced a collection of paintings based on synonyms and words known as the thesaurus paintings.
- Nowadays, an Urban thesaurus is used to keep track of the growing list of slangs that have penetrated our language and culture
- The historical thesaurus of the oxford dictionary containing 800,000 words was compiled over 44 years.
The History Of National Thesaurus Day:
Peter Mark Roget the author of Roget’s Thesaurus was born on January 18th in 1779, and hence the celebration falls on this date. However, the origin and creator of the day remains unknown.