A Word by Any Other Name
HISTORICAL THESAURUS OF THE OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY.
Edited by Chistian Key, Jane Roberts, Michael Samuels, and Irene Wotherspoon.
Oxford Univ. Pres. 3,892 pp. $395
Confess that you regularly consult a thesaurus, and you call your writing skills and even your intelligence into question, such is the ill repute into which this worthy reference has fallen. In a diatribe published in The Atlantic some years ago, Simon Winchester, author of The Professor and the Madman (about the making of The Oxford English Dictionary), lambasted Peter Mark Roget, the compiler of the granddaddy that spawned today’s myriad...