Last night I got to have dinner with an old friend, Pat, who I hadn’t seen in far too long. We’ve known each other since elementary school, but since he moved out of Ohio, keeping in touch has been harder. Pat’s brain and mine operate on the same wavelength to an
almost frightening degree.
Here’s an actual exchange from halfway through dinner. We were talking about my copyediting.
Me: Can you believe I’m now paying for an annual subscription to the online Merriam-Webster unabridged dictionary?
Pat: Seriously? (in disbelief) What do you do with all the extras?
Me: The extras?
(we stare at each other in confusion)
Me: I said an online subscription.
(we both die laughing)
So, for those wondering: no, I do not receive a new, very slightly updated unabridged physical dictionary once a month in the mail. Although now I’m just thinking there has to be at least one person who would sign up for that, and I want to meet that person. Briefly.
I told Pat I was going to make this the blog post the next day. So here we are. If you’re reading this, buddy, it was good to see you!
Woot! Seriously what would you do with that many dictionaries? I think you need to come up with some interesting ideas for that useage.
First idea. Dictionary chunking.
“So, explain this idea to me again. It’s a reality TV show, and they just … throw dictionaries?”
When I was born, my parents bought an Encyclopedia Britannica. It came with its own little bookcase, with a slot in the back for the atlas.
And every year we got a “Year in Review” supplement. That was pretty cool — and frankly we could have used an annual update for the atlas as well, since by the time I was in school the world has changed quite a bit.
Every month, though. Yeah, that would have been excessive.
Not to mention, the encyclopedia entry on “biology” might need updating a bit more often than the dictionary definition of “biology.” 🙂
I believe that edition still classified homosexuality as a psychological disorder, though at least it wasn’t one of the earlier ones which said “Negroes” were an interior race.
Though dictionaries do have to be updated regularly — how else could you add important new developments like “selfie”? 🙂