Friday, July 31, 2009

My favorite book

I have a long-standing love affair with dictionaries. Not that I have ever read one from cover to cover, but I usually get caught by something in a dictionary on my way to a specific definition.

When I worked at Thiokol, I received a dictionary that had a chart of all the world's known major language families. When I changed departments, I took the dictionary with me. When I was layed off, the only non-human thing I missed was my dictionary. When I'd had enough of the task at hand, I loved to wander through it for a few minutes for a break.

Yesterday I received my latest $5 e-bay purchase.

This was definitely a used copy because there are marker lines on the top of the front and a couple of names written on the inside front cover. The inside, however, was pristine. Even the pages had a new-ish feel and no markings at all.

We have had a couple of children's dictionaries for the last 8 or 9 years---longer than the kids could read---and I really enjoyed them. Lately, however, the boys have had to use our big red Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary. For the record, I have always disliked collegiate editions. In my opinion, they do a lousy job of defining words or just about anything else. (I think that a dictionary that uses the word to define itself is pretty bad.) Don't ask me why I bought it. It wasn't a cheap paperback! For the record, the cheap paperback from college that it replaced was pretty good!

This intermediate dictionary is fun to read because it gives word histories, synonyms, etc., and uses white space effectively so your eye doesn't go batty (like the collegiate one we own.)

Final rating: 5 thumbs up (out of 5)


Mrs. Darling said...

I love the dictionary too. Nice to find a kindred spirit!

3 for school said...

I remember my husband once told me he had read it cover to cover. I've never done that, but I can see the appeal.