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Friday, 12 September 2014

It was a doctor; not a linguist who published first thesaurus, partly in an effort to battle depression !!!

Peter Mark Roget FRS (18 January 1779 – 12 September 1869) was a British physician, natural theologian and lexicographer. He is best known for publishing, in 1852, the Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases (Roget's Thesaurus), a classified collection of related words. Peter Mark Roget was born in London. His obsession with list-making as a coping mechanism was well established by the time he was eight years old. The son of a Swiss clergymanRoget studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh. His life was marked by several incidents of sadness. His father and his wife died young. His beloved uncle Samuel Romilly committed suicide in Roget's presence. Roget struggled with depression for most of his life. His work on the thesaurus arose partly from an effort to battle depression. 

In general usage, a thesaurus is a reference work that lists words grouped together according to similarity of meaning (containing synonyms and sometimes antonyms), in contrast to a dictionary, which provides definitions for words, and generally lists them in alphabetical order. The main purpose of such reference works is to help the user“to find the word, or words, by which an idea may be most fitly and aptly expressed” – to quote Peter Roget, architect of the best known thesaurus in the English language. Although including synonyms, a thesaurus should not be taken as a complete list of all the synonyms for a particular word. The entries are also designed for drawing distinctions between similar words and assisting in choosing exactly the right word. Unlike a dictionary, a thesaurus entry does not give the definition of wordsRead more...