It's Not Pronounced Like the Thesaurus, Dammit!
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Dr. Roget was angry. He was furious. One might say he was enraged, or even wrathful.


Because the world was a terrible place, full of war, poverty, bigotry, abuse, greed, selfishness, people who talk at the theater, and probably an uncounted number of dangerous anomalies that the Foundation had yet to discover and contain.

…But mostly because people kept mispronouncing his name.

He had started carrying a thesaurus around everywhere he went, so that whenever somebody pronounced his name like the author of said thesaurus, he could hit, wallop, bludgeon, strike, or clout them with it. However, this method of negative reinforcement served only to amuse people, and they kept doing it. Day in and day out, people would call to him from all directions, purposely pronouncing his name in the way he so hated.

He was irate.

After a long day of this (the four-thousand-six-hundred-and-ninth in a row, to be precise), he stormed into his office, knocking over the multiple photographs of himself, his family, and…

God, he missed her. Dr. Miriam Webster (pronounced my-REE-um weeb-STAY-er), his only true friend in the Foundation. She alone knew what it was like to consistently be addressed by the name of a popular word reference book. The two of them had had many good times together. Physically attacking people for their mispronunciations, getting reprimanded by their superiors, attacking their superiors when they mispronounced their names while reprimanding them…

Then, one fateful day, Dr. Roget caught her discussing the actual thesaurus. He didn't hear the context, and the feeling of betrayal was too much for him. Before he knew it, he had picked up a large knife, sliced a nearby dictionary into the shape of a sharp object, and smacked her in the face with it. (Dictionaries, no matter what shape they are, simply can't stab people. The pages are too flexible and the covers are too blunt.) Then he ran off crying, transferred to another site, and never saw her again.

So naturally, there was no describing how surprised, astonished, shocked, dumbfounded, and taken aback he felt when he looked up and saw Miriam Webster sitting on his desk, smiling at him as if he hadn't dumped her like last year's encyclopedia all those years ago.

With kindness, benevolence, good will, and compassion in her eyes, she explained to him that she completely understood why he had run off. She told him the truth of what had happened that day, while he listened attentively; he had long since ceased being angry with her, but he hadn't been able to reach out and apologize, because the site they both used to work at was not equipped with any sort of non-emergency communications system. It just wasn't in the budget.

The two of them, kindred spirits once more, simultaneously began to plead for the other's forgiveness. Roget couldn't believe his luck, his fortune, his serendipity. She had shown up when he needed her most, and she was here to stay.

But Miriam had one more surprise for Roget. She winked at him, and presented a young girl. Her age was roughly equal to the amount of time since the two had last seen each other, minus nine months. Roget looked with wonder, awe, and reverence upon his long-lost daughter.

He asked for the girl's name. Miriam told him it was Britannica.

She pronounced it BRITE-en-ICK-kah.

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