In the past few weeks I completed the final tasks of my current project. Initially, I used my phone to access the Internet for Dictionary.com but to be honest with you, it was slow. Not the actual Internet, but the process of refreshing the page to look up a new word or the fact I could only look up one word at a time. Okay, some of you are saying, "You should only look up one word at a time regardless of what dictionary you use." Right?
I agree but I'm not talking in the literal, one word at a time. For instance, in my newest dictionary, the big red one, there are MANY words on one page. I alphabetized my word list before starting to save time in the "look up" phase. Time wasn't saved using my phone or computer because there were some words that might be on the same page or a simple turn of the page. The hand held devices or computers work in a pinch but I must tell you, it felt good to use an "old fashioned" (as one teen told me) method of picking up a book.
At home, I started my adventure of looking up words using my fancy-shmancy red dictionary, the one "required" when I went back to school to complete my Bachelor's. My lists were so long, this process took a few days. Rather than break my back carrying this bad-boy back and forth to work, and to my parent's house...I took out my favorite dictionary.
Yes, the one with the duct tape holding it together. It is a pocket size resource, not weighing a lot, looking like it has lived a tough life, and still my go-to dictionary...the red one is beautiful and new yet this MacGyver version of knowledge is always picked first.
I often work on projects during my lunch and wasn't prepared for the conversation my MacGyvered dictionary started. One person said, "I love it, that's great." Another said, "If you need a new dictionary, I have a few at home, you can have one."
I appreciated her offer and chuckled out loud because, well...I use the duct taped dictionary out of preference, not necessity. The first picture in today's blog is of my beautiful bookshelf my parents gifted me two Christmases ago - the middle row is all dictionaries, grammar helps, and other "word" related resources.
Have you asked, "Why are you using that raggedy dictionary when so many other choices are at your finger tips?" or possibly, "Why do you have so many dictionaries?"
My little, ripped, and well loved dictionary is my favorite because of the memory. My Aunt Nancy and Gram gave this to me when I transferred to a private high school, Bishop Cunningham Jr./Sr. High, in Oswego, New York. They wanted me to have a "new" one to start my new journey. Is it outdated and worn? Yes, but it is always my starting point.
Why do I have so many? Well...for some reason, when we go to book sales or yard sales, I gravitate to the books. I love dictionary and word type helps. I have rhyming dictionaries, word list dictionaries, and so much more. Did you notice the HUGE, and yes, duct taped dictionary to the left? This is my husband's family dictionary...old and outdated like my little one yet a family memory. The word "aint" isn't in that one! Thank goodness.
It was invigorating the past couple weeks to sit with a dictionary or two or three on my lap and the table around me. To play with words, so much fun. It might be easier to pick up our cell phone, I-Pod, I-Pad, or whatever handheld device you are using but I still believe there is more value and joy found in opening and good ol' book. What do you think?
What type of dictionary do you use?
Lisa M Buske
P.O. Box 323