Peter Mark Roget: The synonymous man

To wait till perfection is attained would be vain and fruitless presumption.

Roget was born into a family with medical history of psychological disorders. Though he was considered the sane one in the family, Roget had his own share of obsessions. He had weird hobbies right from his childhood, be it counting his steps every day or making lists of things.

When life presented difficult times before him, Roget resorted to this one thing that calmed him down – making lists. After spending his younger days being an accomplished doctor, inventor and researcher, Roget decided to spend his days of retirement doing what he loved the most – making a list of words.

Memorable retirement.

He began adding to his previous collection of words and over time built a huge catalog of words grouped by their synonyms and antonyms. Though it was a mere hobby in the beginning, over time Roget realized the relevance of the work he was doing and how it could benefit others.

Roget continued his work for years, well into his nineties, and his collection of words was later compiled into a book- the Roget’s Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases, popularly known as just the Thesaurus.

Even today most people know of Roget more from this giant list of words than the vast amount of work he did in his active younger days. What started as a pointless hobby indeed became the identity of Peter Mark Roget.

Action Summary:

  • Sometimes a pointless task can transform into your biggest accomplishment, provided how passionate you are about it.
  • Keep doing things that matter the most to you, however trivial they might seem.

~ Gitanjali Banerjee