I am sorry to announce that at 12:55 pm on November 9, 2006, my well-worn and much beloved copy of Roget’s College Thesaurus fell upon the tile floor and split in two. Please join me in a moment of silence.
I have known for some time that my Roget’s days were numbered on this earth (as it has been shedding random pages), but I was still emotionally unprepared for the loss. The fatal split occurred between pages 300 and 301, forever exposing the words: irate, irksome and irreparable as well as ironically and invincible. Coincidence? I think not.
I purchased the paperback thesaurus along with a big stack of textbooks my very first semester of college. It has been with me ever since – through countless term papers, a 125-page thesis and most recently a slew of blog entries. A truer writing companion I could not hope to find. Never once did it criticize my verbosity or mock my fear of redundancy – a fear so great I could not write an essay without searching several times through its nuanced pages.
Oh sure, I’ve tried other thesauruses (thesauri?...thesaurae?). I even once bought a deluxe hardbound edition. But they were always organized according to some foreign code known only to the secret society of thesaurus editors. I always returned – contrite and apologetic – to my little red Roget. Online versions leave me wanting. And the built-in synonyms feature in MS Word is just plain pitiful, a word which – according to what is now the Volume II half of my old Roget’s Thesaurus – is akin to deplorable, wretched, lamentable, piteous, and paltry.
Bear with me as I may be inconsolable for a few days while I work through the grieving process. In the meantime, I will end with a few words of farewell to my loyal friend: goodbye, so long, Godspeed, shalom, adios, till we meet again, sayonara, and adieu.
Tags: thesaurus, writing, the evils of tile floors.