10 Facts 

World Thesaurus Day: Top 10 facts about the classic wordfinder

1. Before Roget, the word “thesaurus” simply meant a store or treasury.

2. His work is more than a list of synonyms but divides the meanings of words into 1,000 concepts.

3. The Oxford Dictionary gives “thesauri” as the plural of “thesaurus”. The Cambridge Dictionary prefers “thesauruses”, saying “thesauri” is “formal”.

4. Today is also Winnie-the-Pooh day, marking the birth of AA Milne on January 18, 1882.

5. Curiously, Roget omits the word “bear” in the list of animals in his Thesaurus…

6. …but he does include the phrase “had it been a bear it would have bitten you” under “Inattention”.

7. Roget was a physician with a real passion for list-compiling. He only started work on his Thesaurus after retirement in his 60s.

8. Recent writers have suggested that Roget suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder.

9. Roget’s thesaurus lists the word “thesaurus” under the concepts of “list”, “word” and “store”.

10. The Historical Thesaurus Of The Oxford English Dictionary was published in 2009. Volume Two, the index, is longer than Volume One.

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