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Roget's Thesaurus - Life Stories, Books, and Links
 
Biographical Information

Stories about Roget's Thesaurus

Selected works by this author

Selected books about / related to this author

Recommended links
 
BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION
 
Picture of an early manuscript of Roger's Thesaurus
Roget's Thesaurus
 
 
Related authors:
Andrew Carnegie, Oxford English Dictionary
 
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Roget's Thesaurus - LIFE STORIES
 
 
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SELECTED WORKS BY THIS AUTHOR
 
 
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SELECTED BOOKS ABOUT (or related to) THIS AUTHOR
 
 
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Guardian Unlimited
The UK newspaper offers this amusing review of the 150th anniversary edition of Roget's Thesaurus, with commentary on the history of the text, its evolution of the years, and the enduring stigma associated with its usage:

"Roget's Thesaurus stands somewhere between pornography and Brodie's Notes on the embarrassment scale. Possession implies use. Use implies need. Need implies deficiency, whether of sexual partners, revision time or words. In the case of Roget, no one wants to admit to being dumb. The book has, however, sold 32 million copies since its first publication 150 years ago. A revised edition has been published to mark the anniversary and also, presumably, to rack the sales figure even higher. Embarrassing or not, pornography, exam cribs and Roget's Thesaurus all shift impressive numbers of units."
Peter Mark Roget
A short biography reviews Roget's medicical and scientific accomplishments.

"In 1824, Roget made important observations in the field of optics. ... He went on to explain a phenomenon that often perplexes devotees of Westerns, a hundred years before the invention of film. At certain speeds of the cartwheel it appears to stop or go backwards. ... Roget's work showed that an image persists in human perception for about one sixteenth of a second and this forms the basis on which animations, film and television are based."
The Independent
A review published in the UK newspaper explores the enduring controversy over Roget's reference text.

"Everyone, devotees and detractors alike, agrees that a dictionary is what Roget is not. And detractors it certainly has. The old-school journalist Simon Winchester, author of a book on the making of the seminal Oxford English Dictionary, launched a withering attack on Roget last year in a massive article in The Atlantic Monthly. The thesaurus was, he declared, 'a serious force for bad' in the literary universe. Roget's original goal may have been to make the use of English impeccably exact. But in practice, 'uncritically offering up lists of alternative words' tempts 'unthinking and unimpassioned mediocrity into the delusion that its disconnected glimpses of truths... can be worded by his specifics into creative thought and passion.' Ouch."
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April 24, 2017
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