Friday, December 4, 2015

The Right Word

The Right Word

Juvenile biography
Are you ever stumped for the perfect word that exactly conveys
what you want it to? You're in luck. A very familiar volume will
give you synonyms in all gradations of concept, meaning, and nuance.
Jen Bryant's The Right Word brings us the story of Peter Mark Roget
and his Thesaurus.
Roget was very young when his father died. Because his family
moved often, he didn't make many friends. He became an avid reader
and list maker. He was a big fan of Linnaeus, the man who grouped
plants and animals into logical categories. His mother complained
that he was always scribbling.
Roget became a doctor and, despite his shyness, a well respected
lecturer. When other writers published word list books his grown
chldren convinced him that he could do better. He proved them right.
On a personal note, when I read Roget's mother's complaint about his
always scribbling, I had to laugh. It's what my beloved husband often
says about me. I guess those of us who are fascinated by language
must seem to march to the beat of a different drummer. The three
poetry manuscripts I am putting together are coming along very slowly
because of my volunteering, performing, and social engagements. I'll
make a lot more progress during Christmas break when the students are
away and I spend most of my time with dear Joey cat. At the moment
he's sprawled out on my lap purring contentedly.
A great big shout out goes out to my many kindred spirits who are
spell bound by the beauty and mystery of words.
Julia Emily Hathaway

Sent from my iPod

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