Roget's Thesaurus

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Roget's Thesaurus is a widely used English-language thesaurus, created in 1805 by Peter Mark Roget (1779–1869), British physician, natural theologian and lexicographer.

History[edit]

It was released to the public on 29 April 1852.[1][page needed] Roget was inspired by the Utilitarian teachings of Jeremy Bentham and wished to help "those who are painfully groping their way and struggling with the difficulties of composition [...] this work processes to hold out a helping hand."[2] The Karpeles Library Museum houses the original manuscript in its collection.[3]

Roget's schema of classes and their subdivisions is based on the philosophical work of Leibniz (see Leibniz § Symbolic thought),[citation needed] itself following a long tradition of epistemological work starting with Aristotle. Some of Aristotle's Categories are included in Roget's first class "abstract relations."

Content[edit]

Hyperbolic tree representing the class of words relating to space in Roget's Thesaurus.[4]

Roget described his thesaurus in the foreword to the first edition:

It is now nearly fifty years since I first projected a system of verbal classification similar to that on which the present work is founded. Conceiving that such a compilation might help to supply my own deficiencies, I had, in the year 1805, completed a classed catalogue of words on a small scale, but on the same principle, and nearly in the same form, as the Thesaurus now published.[5]

Roget's Thesaurus is composed of six primary classes.[6] Each class is composed of multiple divisions and then sections. This may be conceptualized as a tree containing over a thousand branches for individual "meaning clusters" or semantically linked words. Although these words are not strictly synonyms, they can be viewed as colours or connotations of a meaning or as a spectrum of a concept.[citation needed] One of the most general words is chosen to typify the spectrum as its headword, which labels the whole group.

Editions[edit]

The original edition had 15,000 words and each successive edition has been larger,[3] with the most recent edition (the eighth) containing 443,000 words.[7] The book is updated regularly and each edition is heralded as a gauge to contemporary terms; but each edition keeps true to the original classifications established by Roget.[2] The name "Roget" is trademarked in parts of the world, such as the United Kingdom.[8] By itself, it is not protected in the United States, where use of the name "Roget" in the title of a thesaurus does not necessarily indicate any relationship to Roget directly; it has come to be seen as a generic thesaurus name.[9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hüllen[full citation needed]
  2. ^ a b How to be Really Well Informed in Minutes: All you need to know about everything that matters from the popular 'Briefing' columns. Croydon: Ebury Press. 2012. pp. 74–77. ISBN 978-0-09194-706-4.
  3. ^ a b Roget's Thesaurus Archived 2009-12-28 at the Wayback Machine Karcpeles Library
  4. ^ Baumgartner & Waugh (2002).
  5. ^ Lloyd (1982), p. xix.
  6. ^ Table of contents Archived March 16, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ HarperCollins (November 5, 2019). "Roget's International Thesaurus, 8th Edition". Retrieved October 17, 2020.
  8. ^ "Intellectual Property Office". GOV.UK. Retrieved May 13, 2020.
  9. ^ Lloyd (1982), p. xiii, quote: "The name has become synonymous with the Thesaurus, yet Dr Roget himself is a shadowy figure."

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]