Ever see a thesaurus but not pick it up? Never used one? Well here is a little of how Roget's Internations Thesaurus was discovered, picked up and is now a loved companion.
If you know me at all, you won't be surprised that I can wax elloquent about a thesaurus. I'm just a geek that way.
But apparently Jerah is the same way, because there's a particular thesaurus which she has fallen in love with. This love affair with her thesaurus began when she started to sprinkle the words "that rocks" into her daily conversation a bit too liberally for my tastes. And so I instituted a ban on the word "rocks," which means she is allowed to use the term only once per day. After that, she has to come up with a synonym if she wants to express the same feeling of unbridled enthusiasm.
After I declared this prohibition, I understandably had to locate a good thesaurus for her. Providentially we had a Roget's International Thesaurus (a third edition, two-volume set published in the 1960's) on our shelves, one which Jeff had picked up for free a couple years ago.
I'd never looked at the set before, so I wasn't familiar with how this thesaurus was set up. At first I was a little confused about how to use it since it wasn't set up like a dictionary, with all the entries in alphabetical order and with cross references aplenty. But I finally figured out that one of the volumes was an index in which to look up the desired word and the other volume contained that actual thesaurus entries.
For example, when I looked up the word "great," I found this list below the word "great" from which I chose my desired meaning.
- grand 34.8
- chief 36.16
- drastic 161.15
- pregnant 168.18
- large 194.16
- important 670.16
- good 672.14
- famous 912.19
- magnanimous 977.6
- in great measure 34.17
I noted the number next to the meaning I chose, such as 672.14 next to the word "good." Then I grabbed the other volume and looked up section 672. The synomyns I was looking for were in the 14th subsection like you see below.
This thesaurus was unlike any I'd used before, having used only cheap desktop thesauri (see…word-geek!) previously. But I was thrilled at how the information was organized, and so was Jerah. It was like a novel to her. So much so that she has since spent quite a bit of time curled up on her reading chair devouring its contents…of course, after she had found suitable synonyms for "that rocks."
A few weeks after discovering the value of our two-volume Roget, I found a one-volume Roget of the same edition at a book sale for 50 cents. No surprise, I grabbed it up immediately. After all, it can't hurt to have two Roget's in the house, can it? I even bought a Roget International Thesaurus (5th Edition) from Amazon.com for my father (a fellow word-geek) after he, too, fell in love with the book while visiting this last weekend.
But seriously, if you're a homeschooler, and you can don't have a good thesaurus on your bookshelf, I highly recommend this thesaurus. And forget the concise editions, make sure you choose the full-version Roget's International Thesaurus.
This post is linked to Things I Love Thursday.