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This thesaurus is the oldest book of its kind that still exists. Peter Mark Roget is the British doctor credited with authoring the first modern thesaurus.


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In , he began compiling a list of words, arranged by their meaning and grouped according to theme. After retiring from his work as a physician in , Roget published his Thesaurus of English words and phrases; so classified and arranged as to facilitate the expression of ideas and assist in literary composition. In fact, we celebrate Thesaurus Day on January 18 because Roget was born on this day in The division between "words people" and "numbers people" is deep-seated.

Many mathematicians may try to steer clear of thesauruses, and bibliophiles may avoid calculators, but the thesaurus is actually linked to a mathematical tool. Around , Roget invented the log-log slide rule, a ruler-like device that allows users to easily calculate the roots and exponents of numbers. So while the inventor of the thesaurus was compiling words for his tome, he was also hard at work on the log-log slide rule.

In , a professor of English Language at Glasgow University suggested that scholars should create a historical thesaurus based on entries in the Oxford English Dictionary.

The project was a massive undertaking , as people from multiple countries worked for 44 years to compile and classify words. Published in , the Historical Thesaurus to the Oxford English Dictionary contains , words organized by theme and date. The thesaurus covers words and synonyms from Old English to the present day and lets readers discover when certain words were coined and how long they were commonly used. Bochner had incorporated words and synonyms in his paintings for years—which were collectively referred to as the thesaurus paintings—featuring word paintings and lists of synonyms on canvas.

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The brightly colored paintings feature different groups of English and Yiddish synonyms. According to Bochner, Vietnam and Iraq war veterans cried after seeing his thesaurus painting Die , which features words and phrases such as expire , perish , succumb , drop dead , croak , go belly up , pull the plug , and kick the bucket. Urban Dictionary helps people decipher the latest slang terms, but where should you go when you need a thesaurus of slang?

Urban Thesaurus , of course. The site, which is not affiliated with Urban Dictionary, indexes millions of slang terms culled from slang dictionaries, then calculates usage correlations between the terms. Typing in the word money , for example, gives you an eclectic list of synonyms including scrilla , cheddar , mulah , coin , and bling.

The Arabic and Simplified Chinese scripts aren't in danger of going anywhere anytime soon, but the same can't be said for Balinese, Mali, Pahawh or Pahauh Hmong, and the other some alphabets that Vermont-based writer Tim Brookes has cataloged in his online Atlas of Endangered Alphabets , which is set for a soft launch on January The featured alphabets—which Brookes has loosely defined to include writing systems of all sorts—are vanishing for varied reasons, including government policies, war, persecution, cultural assimilation, and globalization. The atlas will include a bit of background information about each alphabet as well as links to any organizations attempting to revive them.

By creating a hub for these alphabets, Brookes hopes to connect people who want to preserve their language and culture, while also showing the world how beautiful and intricate some of these scripts—including the 10 below—can be.

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Although the Manataka American Indian Council says an ancient Cherokee writing system may have existed at one point but was lost to history, Cherokee was more or less a spoken language up until the early 19th century. Around , a Cherokee man named Sequoyah started working on an character writing system known as a syllabary, in which the symbols represent syllables. Most remarkably, Sequoyah himself had never learned how to read.


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  6. At the time, many Native Americans deeply distrusted writing systems, and Sequoyah was put on trial for witchcraft after tribal leaders caught wind of his new creation. However, once they realized that written Cherokee could be used to preserve their language and culture, they asked Sequoyah to start teaching the syllabary. After a period of decline in the years following the Indian Removal Act of , Cherokee language education saw somewhat of a revival in the late 20th century. The predominance of English and the Latin alphabet has made these efforts an uphill battle, though. Many of these are based on the Latin alphabet, but the one shown above uses syllabics that were first introduced by European missionaries in the 19th century.

    The name Glagolitic stems from the Old Church Slavonic word glagolati , meaning to speak. Some of the symbols were lifted from Greek, Armenian, and Georgian, while others were entirely new inventions. Nowadays, academics are typically the only ones who can decipher the script, but some cultural institutions have made efforts to preserve its legacy.

    In , the National and University Library in Zagreb launched an online portal containing digitized versions of Glagolitic texts. In addition to being a source of Croatian heritage and pride, the alphabet has also become an object of tourist fascination. However helpful this may be to the tourism sector, it's no guarantee that more Croatians will want to start learning the script.

    15% of American Adults Have Used Online Dating Sites or Mobile Dating Apps

    This African script is unusual for several reasons. One day, he was looking at his wall when he noticed that the mortar between the bricks seemed to form two numbers: He believed these were divine clues, so he set out to create a series of symbols based off those shapes. Eventually, he assigned the symbols phonographic meaning and turned it into an alphabet that could be used by speakers of the Kikongo and Lingala languages.

    Perhaps most remarkably, the pronunciation changes depending on how the symbols are rotated. Unlike most of the other alphabets on this list, Mandombe is growing in popularity rather than declining. Elsewhere in the country, the Latin alphabet is used French is the official language. For this reason, many new alphabets can be considered endangered. In a similar vein, Ditema tsa Dinoko is also a minority script, and it's too new to tell if it will stick around.

    A team of South African linguists, designers, and software programmers invented this intricate, triangular-shaped alphabet in just the last decade in hopes of forging a single script that could be used by speakers of indigenous languages in South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique.

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    Because the symbols were inspired by artworks and beadwork designs that are typical of the region, the alphabet is also a celebration of culture. For instance, different writers may use different colors to give their text "a certain feel or emotional resonance," Brookes says. This ancient, mystic script dates back to the 2nd century CE and is still being used by some Mandaeans in Iraq and Iran. According to mythology, the language itself predates humanity, and the script was historically used to create religious texts.

    Despite its enduring quality, many of the speakers in Iraq have fled to other countries since the U.

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    As these speakers assimilate into new cultures, it becomes more challenging to maintain their linguistic traditions. According to Brookes, the Lanna script was primarily used during the time of the Lanna Kingdom in present-day Thailand from the 13th century to the 16th century. The word Lanna translates to "land of a million rice fields.

    Everything is just curving around and swimming in all these different directions. The pictures stand for tangible objects like mud, mountains, and high alpine meadows, as well as intangible concepts such as humanity and religion [ PDF ]. However, every major demographic group is now significantly more likely to respond in the affirmative to this question than was the case when we first asked it in Similarly, college graduates and the relatively affluent are especially likely to say that they know someone who has met a spouse or long-term partner via online dating—and once again, nearly every major demographic group is more likely to know someone who has done this compared with eight years ago.

    Although a majority of Americans agree with two positive statements about online dating, a sizeable minority agree with two statements casting online dating or the people who use online dating in a more negative light. Nonetheless, attitudes towards online dating have progressed in a clearly positive direction in the eight years since our previous study:. Perhaps unsurprisingly, people who have used online dating themselves have positive views about the process compared with the overall population. Yet even some online daters seem to find both the process itself—and the individuals they encounter on these sites—distasteful.

    Each of these is discussed in greater detail in the section that follows.

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    The relatively small number of online daters in our survey makes it impossible to conduct a detailed demographic analysis of these questions. However, our sample size is sufficient to compare men and women, and any statistically significant gender differences are noted where appropriate.

    Two-thirds of online daters have gone on a date through these sites, and one quarter have used them to find a marriage or long-term relationship. Compared with eight years ago, online daters in are much more likely to actually go out on dates with the people they meet on these sites. Male and female online daters are equally likely to have gone on a date with someone they met through a dating site or app.

    Male and female online daters are equally likely to translate their experiences with online dating into a long-term relationship. Substantial numbers of online daters use paid dating sites, or use sites for people with shared interests or backgrounds. There are no differences between male and female online daters on any of these behaviors. Although significant numbers of online daters are meeting potential dates and new partners, negative experiences can and do occur.

    We asked about two specific experiences and found that:. Men and women are equally likely to say that they have encountered others misrepresenting themselves in their profile, but women are much more likely to have experienced uncomfortable or bothersome contact via online dating sites or apps. In addition to asking about the specifically negative experiences discussed above, we also asked about two other possible experiences that people might have with online dating and found that:. About Pew Research Center Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world.


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    8. It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. Pew Research Center does not take policy positions. It is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts. Focus on dating sites: Americans have significantly greater familiarity with online dating through others than was the case in Although the proportion of Americans who say that they personally use online dating has not changed dramatically since , familiarity with online dating through others i.

      Nonetheless, attitudes towards online dating have progressed in a clearly positive direction in the eight years since our previous study: