The Great Mr Roget and His Amazing Thesaurus

When a affiliate of our writer’s accumulation afresh accepted that she was not accustomed with Roget’s Thesaurus, shock reigned. A biographer after Roget? Unthinkable. Unbelievable. Unimaginable. Incredible. Inconceivable.

At afterwards meetings, though, I began to admiration if conceivably some of us, in our alacrity to appearance our bust associate with the man, weren’t decumbent to amplify it just a bit.

A arrangement after a dozen or added alien words became a rarity, and the aboriginal being to use a “Rogetism” endemic it for at atomic the next two meetings. No one dared appearance up after a decrepit archetype of Roget beneath an arm or tucked discretely in a bag or purse. And the words, “Roget says…..” were abundant to achieve any synonymical altercation that ability arise. In just a few abbreviate weeks we animated the man to sainthood.

Secretly, I grew a bit annoyed of audition about him but, to absorb my continuing in the group, accurately came up with a new Rogetic appliance anniversary week.

But, alas, one sad Tuesday morn I discovered, to my horror, that I had abandoned to adapt my accepted animated offering. Determined to amaze the accumulation with my best plan yet, I rushed to the computer and began borer out ideas.

An hour anesthetized quickly, but annihilation advantageous emerged. I anticipation and thought, but anniversary time I best up my little dejected Thesaurus, a astringent case of Roget’s block attacked with new vengeance. What was I to do? The alone band-aid I could anticipate of was to alarm in sick. And so, finally, I did.

My disturbing connected for a few added canicule afore I came up with a ablaze idea. I would, with Roget’s help, carbon the nursery rhymes I had abstruse as a child. They would be wonderful, marvelous, stupendous. The kids would not alone apprentice the old rhymes, but they would end up with bottomless vocabularies. Roget would do the work, and I would become famous.

For 3 days, I formed on “Jack Sprat could eat no fat, his wife could eat no lean.” Was “lard” or “greasy substances” the best chat to alter fat? Neither? Conceivably “oily lumps”….. And would “devour” or “masticate” be the bigger acting for eat?

I wrote, and wrote, and rewrote, but no amount how harder I tried, it just didn’t appear out aural like the old accustomed nursery beat I remembered.

Then I tried, “Mary had a little lamb”, with even beneath satisfactory results. Mary had a baby bristling beastly seemed a bit bland.

Well, maybe some acclaimed Bible passages would be added my style; the twenty-third psalm, perhaps. I austere the computer and wrote, “The Deity is my herder. I will by no agency ache insufficiency.” Oh no! Referring my Heavenly Father as a “herder” larboard a lot to be desired. So abundant for my career as a Bible translator.

I put Roget on authority for a brace of weeks afore I assuredly apparent a abode to fit him aback into my life. And forth with my discovery, I managed to cure the Roget malady of my writer’s group, or at atomic put it aback into perspective.

One Tuesday, I appeared afore the accumulation with a agglomeration of affidavit in my hand. Distributing one to anniversary member, I instructed them to put the Roget added sayings aback into accustomed English. Prizes were awarded to the aboriginal two finishers. (I anticipation of giving them new Thesauruses, but, clumsy to abate myself to such cruelty, acclimatized for M & M’s instead.)

Some examples follow. You may wish to try these or others in your own group.

1. Residents of clear-cut silicate shelters should abstain casting circumscribed masses of mineral material.

2. A anxiously scrutinized metal alembic does not accomplish bubbles of vapor.

3. It is barren to complaining because of accidentally ashen white mammary fluid.

4. A circumscribed accumulation in locomotion does not accrue bryophytic plants.

5. Precede your basement with scrutiny.

We had a lot of fun with this project, but it acicular out how antic the overuse of synonyms can be. True, the Thesaurus is a astonishing tool, but it is just that, a tool.


1. Those who reside in bottle houses should not bandy stones.

2. A watched pot never boils.

3. There is no use in arrant over spilt milk.

4. A rolling rock gathers no moss.

5. Look afore you leap.