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22 Mar 2012

Most Influential Book: Roget’s Thesaurus

Roget's Thesaurus is the most influential secret book.

Roget’s Thesaurus gives us appreciation for the way words communicate emotions through their connotations, helping us communicate and solve problems.

Someone once asked me, “What are the twenty most influential books in your life?” I listed Roget’s Thesaurus as one. It helps us see better the feelings words convey. We see how the feeling can be quite different from the meaning. This helps in many ways.

How Roget’s Thesaurus Helps

Roget’s Thesaurus helps us in ways that extend well beyond just communicating better and completing crossword puzzles. There are four secret ways this book can help. We can use it to:

  • Defend ourselves since it’s a verbal martial arts guide
  • Find appealing names for initiatives, projects and services
  • Assess personalities better in real time since people’s words tell us much about them
  • Solve problems better since we often think in words

Improve Verbal Martial Arts

People who do not like will see us in a bad light. They will use negative words to describe our strengths. Sometimes, we do not see  what strength they have tainted. Roget’s Thesaurus helps.

For example, someone calls us “stubborn.” Using the Fifth Edition edited by Robert L. Chapman, there are six words: persevering, obstinate, strict, tenacious, inflexible and tough. Three of these are have good connotations: persevering, tenacious and tough. So, we can say, “Thank you for considering me persevering.”

Name Initiatives and Projects Better

Roget’s Thesaurus groups words by categories. We can easily find many similar words. This not only helps us put our strengths in a good light it helps us do this with our initiatives and projects.  We can find names that convey the feelings we want them to convey. Keywords are very important when promoting something new.

Gain Insights Into Personalities

Want to gain insight into personalities? Listen to people’s words. Through words’ connotations, Roget’s Thesaurus helps us discover patterns and insights into how people view concepts, plans, things and people. For instance, someone who uses many order-oriented words in a positive way probably won’t like a plan giving people a lot of flexibility in their decision-making.

Solve Problems Better

Lastly, since we use words to form thoughts, by looking at words differently and from many more perspectives, this will expand and alter our thought processes. Rather than see stubbornness as a problem, we might see it as a solution by discovering it is determination instead.

However, don’t be fooled by the increasingly popular alphabetical thesauruses. They don’t group words effectively. Thus, they don’t have nearly the magic and potency of a Roget’s Thesaurus.


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