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I had a meeting with the Portico Library today and James brought to my attention one of their previous exhibition In So Many Words: Roget’s Thesaurus and the Power of Language.


“The Portico Library’s first Secretary, Peter Mark Roget, was a medical doctor, inventor, linguist and mathematician. His contribution to the English language is hard to overstate, with over 30 million copies of his eponymous Thesaurus empowering generations since its first publication in 1852. The Thesaurus was designed, in his words, “to facilitate the expression of ideas” and as such has played a significant part in our ability to communicate, and to negotiate the perils and possibilities of language. As part of the library’s 2018 Information is Power project, funded by The Zochonis Charitable Trust, three contemporary artists have created new works based on research into Roget’s legacy – the role of vocabulary in the 21st century; the power of words; the uses and abuses of text and speech.”


I have a copy of Roget’s Thesaurus in my studio on wheels (I defaced an old copy by screwing caster wheels onto the back so you can push the tome around).