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Never Lost for Words

10 Oct


Three brilliant people came together to crete this marvelous book: Jen Bryant, Melissa Sweet and Peter Roget. Bryant and Sweet have come together again to create The Right Word,  a beautiful biography of Roget, the man behind Roget’s Thesaurus. 

Peter Roget created his first book of word lists at age 8.


Like William Carlos Williams,the subject of Bryant & Sweet’s A River of Words,  Roget became a doctor and did his word work in his spare time. Sweet’s illustrations capture Roget’s obsession with synonyms.


Bryant’s prose let’s us see into the mind of someone obsessed with words.  “Words, Peter learned, were powerful things. And when he put them into long, neat rows, he felt as if the world itself clicked into order.” She creates a picture of a sensitive man and makes us aware that Roget wasn’t merely a reclusive scholar. He wanted  his thesaurus to have a democratizing effect: “I want everyone to be able to use my word book, not just doctors, politicians, and lawyers, but cobblers, fishmongers, and factory workers.”

Whether you read this for business (job, work, vocation, livelihood, métier) or pleasure (amusement, enjoyment, thrill, bliss) you will not be disappointed.

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