A good thesaurus \u2013 i.e., a book that lists synonyms and antonyms for other words \u2013 is a vital tool for any writer. But did you know that January 18 is Thesaurus Day?\nTo mark the occasion, we\u2019re looking at the role of Peter Roget \u2013 the man who gave his name to Roget's Thesaurus \u2013 in the history of thesauruses. After that, we\u2019ll throw in some tips for using a thesaurus effectively for good measure!\n\nWho Is Peter Roget? And What Is Thesaurus Day?\nPeter Roget, born January 18, 1779, is the man behind Roget\u2019s Thesaurus. While not the first collection of synonyms in a book, this was the first one to use the word "thesaurus" itself. And it is still in use today, making it very influential.\nRoget chose the term "thesaurus" because it is Latin for "treasury" or "horde," and he wanted his book to be a treasury of language. This "horde" has grown over the years, too: the first edition of Roget's Thesaurus, published in 1805, contained just 15,000 words, but the most recent (eighth) edition boasts 443,000.\nInterestingly, Roget did not start out as a lexicographer; he was originally a doctor. It is only in retirement that he compiled his famous thesaurus. It may even have been part of an attempt to cope with depression, which affected Roget most of his life.\nWhatever his motivations, though, Roget created one of the world\u2019s most popular thesauruses. As such, his birthday was chosen as the date of Thesaurus Day, a day for appreciating the value of a good thesaurus and the work of Roget himself. And, as word lovers ourselves, we're happy to celebrate it!\n\n\n[caption id="attachment_56490" align="aligncenter" width="472"] Peter Roget, presumably about to reveal a thesaurus from under his jacket.[\/caption]\n3 Top Tips for Using a Thesaurus Effectively\nSo, how do you make the best use of a thesaurus? We have three tips:\n\n\n \tUse it with a dictionary \u2013 Thesauruses are great for finding synonyms, but the words you find will usually differ slightly in meaning or usage. As such, you need to be sure you are using the words you find in a thesaurus correctly. And since most thesauruses don\u2019t include definitions, a dictionary is helpful there.\n \tDon\u2019t vary terminology too much \u2013 While repeating a word too much can be a problem, varying your terminology too much can also be confusing (something known as elegant variation). In addition, in academic or technical writing, using key terms consistently will help to ensure clarity in your work.\n \tKeep things simple \u2013 Be careful not to overcomplicate your writing when using a thesaurus. Those multisyllable synonyms may look impressive, but peppering your work with too many long words may make it harder to read.\n\nFollow these tips and you should be able to use a thesaurus effectively!\n\nExpert Proofreading Services\nA thesaurus is a handy tool for writers. But if you want a little more help varying your vocabulary \u2013 as well as making sure you use synonyms correctly \u2013 proofreading is the solution! Find out how our experts can help today with a free proofreading trial.