04/05/2008 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Roget Created Thesaurus To Fend Off Depression

His mother suffered dark depressions and tried to dominate his life. His sister and daughter had severe mental problems, his father and wife died young and a beloved uncle committed suicide in his arms.

So what did Peter Mark Roget, the creator of Roget's Thesaurus, do to handle all the pain, grief, sorrow, affliction, woe, bitterness, unhappiness and misery in a life that lasted over 90 years?

He made lists.

The 19th century British scientist made lists of words, creating synonyms for all occasions that ultimately helped make life easier for term paper writers, crossword puzzle lovers and anyone looking for the answer to the age-old question: "What's another word for ...

Keep reading.


To learn more about Peter Mark Roget, read this Atlantic Monthly article.


Read blogger Gretchen Rubin's 13 tips for dealing with a lousy day...that don't involve writing a thesaurus.