In So Many Words: Roget’s Thesaurus and the Power of Language at The Portico Library, Chinatown, 2 April–12 May 2018, free entry
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 plays a key part in our ability to communicate and to negotiate the perils and pitfalls of language. As part of the library’s 2018 Information is Power project, In So Many Words will present new work by three contemporary artists based on research into Roget’s legacy – the role of vocabulary in the 21st century, the power of words, and the uses and abuses of text and speech.