You know how sometimes a random memory will just pop up in your head, out of nowhere, and say, “Hey, remember me?” I had one of those moments, out of the blue, last night before bed. Picture, if you will: I’m in 3rd grade, and my parents have just picked me up from elementary school to go to a book sale. A book sale! I’ve always loved books, so the promise of a book sale was pretty great to start. What made it ten times better is Dad promised to get me a Thesaurus. I almost couldn’t contain my excitement.
You see, I was in the midst of a dinosaur phase. I’d just wrapped up my bug and butterfly phase, and hadn’t quite started on my King Tut phase. Anything prehistoric was completely fascinating to me (still is, truth be told). And with a name like Thesaurus, naturally my approximately 8-year old self had to assume that I would be getting THE premier book on dinosaurs. Stega-saurus. Bronto-saurus. The-Saurus. Duh! By the end of the day, I was going to be in dino-info heaven.
You probably have a good idea where this is going. And, admittedly, I was majorly disappointed to find out that a thesaurus is nothing more than a list of words with similar meanings. Any self-affirmed dino-loving 8-year old would be. Why, on Earth, would people name a book with the same suffix they use to name dinosaurs? My error was logical. Book of Synonyms would have been more apropos.
Eventually, I came to love the little paperback, and I am glad that my parents got me the book. It’s gotten me through years of term papers, two theses, a smattering of poems, some journal articles, and three manuscripts. That thesaurus is a beloved tool in my arsenal, tattered cover and all. And it’s been way more valuable than a dino-encyclopedia would ever be. Soon, I’ll have to pull out some packing tape and a hot glue gun and do some surgery, but that one book, full of wonderful words, it truly worth its weight in gold. Even if it has nothing to do with dinosaurs.