January 18 is the birthday of Peter Mark Roget, perhaps best known for writing the first thesaurus.
Like me, Roget used lists as a coping mechanism (no word on whether he had more success completing the items on his than I have with mine).
The first edition of Roget’s Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases Classified and Arranged so as to Facilitate the Expression of Ideas and Assist in Literary Composition (Note: this is why publishers want to approve your title…) was published in 1852 and went through 28 printings before Roget’s death in 1869.
In honor of the occasion, permit me to offer some of my favorite searches (and results) from thesaurus.com:
defenestrate: No results found. Did you mean “demonstrate”? (No, but I’m willing to watch if you’d like to…)
murder: annihilation, assassination, blood, bloodshed, butchery, carnage, crime, death, destruction, dispatching, felony, foul play, hit*, homicide, knifing, liquidation, lynching, manslaughter, massacre, off*, offing, one-way ticket, rub out, shooting, slaying, taking out, terrorism, the business, the works. (I have to admit, “the works” is one of my favorites.)
vaccum: barrenness, blank, blankness, chasm, depletedness, desertedness, desolation, destitution, exhaustion, gap, inanition, inanity, vacancy, vaccum , vacuity, vacuousness, vacuum, void, waste (All of which perfectly describe my feelings when I use one.)
and, finally, one which isn’t original to me but which I love nonetheless:
ninja: no results found. (Of course not. They didn’t want you to.)
Have you got a favorite word or favorite thesaurus result? Anything that makes you laugh? Share with me in the comments!