Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Mon Aug 18 17:17:03 UTC 2014

On Mon, Aug 18, 2014 at 12:44 PM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at> wrote:
> At 8/18/2014 11:48 AM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>>it's all the rage--don't be sinister buttocks!
> Somehow, with the illustration in the fore, so to speak, I can't help
> thinking that this is an error for "rogering".
> P.S.  I'm surprised the cited article didn't say, as I infer, that
> plagiarism was the root.  No need to look for synonyms for "powerful
> personalized services" if you haven't already seen it written somewhere.

The article's pretty explicit about it. "Roget-ing" is defined as
"disguising plagiarism by substituting synonyms, one word at a time
with no attempt to understand either the source or target text."

I wrote about some other cases of ham-handed thesaurusizing a couple
of years ago in a piece for Lapham's Quarterly, "Word for Word":

And here's some more on spammy synonymy:


Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

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