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Friday, March 6, 2015

Dictionary????

Oh woe is me!!!  The other day, I heard that Merriam Webster will no longer be printing dictionaries -- everything will be on-line.  I can't tell you the distress I felt when I heard this piece of bad news.
How could it come to pass that soon there will be no more dictionaries in the land?  How could anyone, anywhere think that replacing all the printed words with electronic ones would be an improvement?  
Certainly, sometimes I look up words on my computer -- but that is not nearly as satisfying as turning the pages in my old 1947 American College Dictionary to find the word I'm looking for.  Once the proper word is found -- there are words above it and below and next to it -- all to be explored.  Using the dictionary isn't just about finding out how to spell a word - it is a quest, a search, a quiet drift among the letters.

And then we come to the words in these new electronic dictionaries. I'm sure they will include LOL, 'hashtag', BFF and any number of quick-to-type 'symbols'. Its no wonder I'm getting the collywobbles -- its enough to bumfuzzle even the strongest of us.

"Every time I have to look up a word in the dictionary, I'm delighted." - Vivienne Westwood

7 comments:

  1. We are members of the lost generation. There is a definite satisfaction in holding, reading and owning paper books. As I look at the books that surround my room, the ones that are at my fingertips are my reference books in needlework and, yes, several dictionaries, a thesaurus and an atlas. It''s the same with newspapers and magazines. Many tout the benefits of digital information, but I need the paper and cup of coffee to start my day. Most of the material things that are important to me don't matter much to my grand kids. Who needs a map when you have GPS. the news read on the Net is considered truth and they rarely look at the source. They don't understand my aversion for minds fogged with the effects of weed and my fear of the decisions made 20 years forward made by clouded thinking. After all, I'm an old woman that worries too much. I'm thinking "because I care!". Somehow that makes me a fossil. Thank you...I'll remain in my world, thrilled by the turning of a page and saving magazines because one by one the are no longer in print.
    xx, Carol

    I was rambling wasn't I....LOL.

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  2. Amen, Carol! Blah to everything digital. Hold onto the paper in your lives. In a way, I think that's why I like making paper of my own. If other paper disappears, I'll still be able to do that, for I don't think junk mail will ever disappear.

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  3. Books and magazines in hand are so satisfying, they're old friends who keep me company and give so much pleasure. They are treasures. I feel fortunate to have grown up in a world with physical, paper books. I am also happy that my grandchildren started their lives with a love for physical books. No matter how electronically connected they are, they still have their books.

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  4. Yes, but the trouble with looking something up in a book is that I then continue to read the dictionary, and two hours later the work still isn't done...!

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  5. Totally agree with you, there is nothing like a physical book that you can hold and turn actual pages over. Then muse on the other entries on the page as well.

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  6. This post makes me both happy and sad. first I am happy because I have learned that I am not the only one in the world who enjoys "reading" the dictionary, and secondly I am very, very sad that they are going away. Luckily, I have about 6 in my house - one of them the unabridged version which is a giant tome that I got for my birthday one year. p.s. I also still use the World Book Encyclopedia set given to me when I graduated high school.

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  7. Looking up a word in a dictionary is like browsing a cabinet of delights. I don't think the internet can ever replace my hard copies.

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