Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Dictionary

I have always been drawn to the written word and the often brilliant people who are able to put them together so eloquently.  One of my favorite books that I own today is "The New College Edition of The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language." 

My Dad gave it to me for Christmas in 1981, and for months I would read it before I went to sleep.  Yes - I mean "read!"  I'd pick a random page and read the meaning of the words and would try to commit them to memory.  I loved the tiny print and the black & white photographs of some of the words that were printed at the edge of the translucent, crispy thin paper.   

At an early age my parents taught me how to use a dictionary when I didn't know the meaning of a word.  To be honest, I was one of those kids who constantly asked "why?" and I think they got tired of having to answer me, so directing me to the dictionary whenever I came across an unfamiliar word was probably a major time saver for them!  

30+ years later, I still keep my dictionary close by in my office, and probably use it at least once a week if not more.  The bottom corners are discolored from the constant fanning of the pages and the paper cover is torn and ragged.  I know I can use an on-line dictionary when I need one, but my number one choice is always and will always be opening my own book and finding the word myself.....and after I read the definition, you can bet I'll take a few moments to read a few more,


1 comment:

  1. I have a similar love for my pocket thesaurus. Besides having a great name that sounds like a dinosaur, it's simply too much fun.

    I look up one synonym, then I have to look up the synonyms for my original word and on down into the rabbit hole. It's fascinating to me, the subtle (and not so subtle) ways that the meaning changes with word choice.