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New Meetup: Joshua Kendall, "The Man Who Made Lists" (Roget's Thesaurus)@ Harvard Book Store

From: T.J. M.
Sent on: Friday, March 6, 2009 11:05 AM
Announcing a new Meetup for Nerd Fun - Boston!

What: Joshua Kendall, "The Man Who Made Lists" (Roget's Thesaurus)@ Harvard Book Store

When: March 16,[masked]:00 PM

Where: Click the link below to find out!

Meetup Description: From the Harvard Bookstore site:

Joshua Kendall, "The Man Who Made Lists: Love, Death, Madness, and the Creation of Roget's Thesaurus".

"Harvard Book Store is delighted to welcome award-winning freelance journalist JOSHUA KENDALL for a discussion of his study of the man who created Roget's Thesaurus, The Man Who Made Lists, just out in a paperback edition.

?In The Man Who Made Lists: Love, Death, Madness, and the Creation of Roget's Thesaurus, U.S. journalist and word-lover Joshua Kendall tells the life of Peter Mark Roget, thesaurus-maker to the world, and tells it very well indeed. There are enough sidelines and footnote-candidates (Roget tested laughing gas on himself, noticed the visual persistence-of-memory phenomenon that eventually allowed the cinema projector to be made, and participated in the making of the slide rule), and Kendall is a good enough storyteller to keep the pages turning.? ?Simon Winchester, The Globe and Mail

When: 7:00 pm, Free

Where to meet:

Warning: Book readings fill up fast here since space is so limited. It might be best to grab seats at 6:40 pm. Eh, it'll give us time to hang out.

Care for a quick bite to eat first? T.J. Maher will be in the lower level food court in The Garage in Harvard Square, just past Ben & Jerry's. He'll have a red MEETUP table tent on the table. T.J. is 5 foot 7, with short brown hair, blue eyes, and will have a "Hello My Name is T.J." nametag on. He'll be there from 5:40 pm to around 6:30 pm, when the group is gathered there can walk over to the bookstore, see if anyone is around, and grab seats together at 6:40 pm. If this is anything like past book lectures, it will be standing room only by 6:50 pm.

Amazon.Com entry:

From Publishers Weekly: "First published in London in 1852, Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases became popular in America with the 1920s crosswords craze and has sold almost 40 million copies worldwide. According to freelancer Kendall in this Professor and the Madman wannabe, Peter Mark Roget (1779?1869) compiled the thesaurus as a means of staving off the madness that pervaded his family?the classification of words was a coping mechanism for his anxiety. Burdened by his father's early death and a mentally unstable mother and grandmother, young Roget was shy and melancholy. In the wake of the suicide of his uncle and surrogate father, Samuel Romilly, a distinguished MP, Roget's mother slid into paranoia, and a depressed Roget left a flourishing medical practice ".

Article in "Bostonist": "Joshua Kendall Explains Peter Mark Roget in The Man Who Made Lists"

About Joshua Kendall:

"Joshua Kendall is a freelance journalist and author whose work has appeared in various publications, including Business Week, The Boston Globe, and The Washington Post. He has also co-written three academic psychology books. Kendall is now working on a biography of Noah Webster, the author of America?s first dictionary, who celebrates his 250th birthday this year.

"For his outstanding reporting on psychiatry, he has received national journalism awards from both the National Mental Health Association and the American Psychoanalytic Association. He received a B.A. from Yale College in comparative literature and graduated summa cum laude. He also did graduate work in comparative literature at Johns Hopkins University. He lives in Boston".

Joshua Kendall, Los Angeles Times, "The definition of Yankee know-how" (Adobe Acrobat) :

"Were it not for Noah Webster Jr., the farm boy from West Hartford, Conn., who would have been 250 on Thursday, Americans might all be reading their newspapers from back to front today.

"As the War for Independence was winding down, the linguistic future of the United States was up for grabs. After all, the English of King George III had suddenly become the tongue of the oppressor. And roughly one-quarter of the new nation?s 3million citizens were not native English speakers. Some Americans sought to replace English with German, then spoken by nearly 10% of the population, and others advocated more radical options, including right-to-left reading in Hebrew.

"In 1783, Webster, then a recent Yale graduate eking out a living as a schoolteacher, put an immediate end to the charged debate. His rhetorical tool was a tiny textbook, just 61⁄4 inches long and 31⁄2 inches wide, which made the case for an American brand of English [ MORE: ]"

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