Laxmi Nagar, New Delhi: Thesaurus Day, which falls on 18 January, was held at British Lingua, an institute of international repute for English communication skills. The day also marks the birth anniversary of Peter Mark Roget, who wrote a book, ‘Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases Classified and Arranged so as to Facilitate the Expression of Ideas and Assist in Literary Composition. This is popularly known as Roget’s Thesaurus.
The British physician-tuned-lexicographer who was born on 18 January 1779 and died on 12 September 1869 is fresh in everybody’s mind, more particularly in the linguistic society of the world. Post his retirement from professional life in 1840, he embarked on the project of lexicography in 1846 and came out with his book in 1852.
Speaking on the occasion, noted author and etymologist Dr. Birbal Jha said, “The day encourages us to develop an understanding of synonyms and antonyms, attach importance to word power, and take joy in the beauty of the English language”.
“Just as you don’t want to repeat the dish of breakfast for lunch or you prefer to eat different dishes for dinner from your lunch, in the same way, you are expected to avoid repetition of words or phrases in the preceding sentences or the paragraph. Successive repetitions of either dishes or words lose their taste.”, added Dr. Birbal Jha, who had English dictionaries enter the Maithili word ‘paag’ with its meanings and usage.
“A fair knowledge of using synonymous words and phrases adds great value to our communication skills. The use of similar-meaning words or phrases adds flavor to our expressions whatsoever. Such linguistic artistry shows our strong hold on language skills”, explained Dr. Birbal Jha, who is credited with creating a revolution in English training in India.
“Roget’s Thesaurus had initially 15,000 words, and each successive edition has been larger, with the most recent one having 443,000 words” informed Dr. Birbal, who is based in Delhi, holding classes in effective English writing and speaking skills.