Truly Disappointing

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

because I don't want to either....

When I started work here, I discovered the online dictionary (Webster's). I love it. I love the dictionary. My first favorite book was a picture dictionary that I still have. When Susan and I lived together in college, I slept with the dictionary next to my alarm clock. That way I didn't have to get up when I needed to look up a word for debate. But my problem with the dictionary is that I tend to easily get distracted from my original stated purpose and end up learning random new words that I just absolutely need to know right now. Hence, I do have a decent vocabulary and some people find me difficult to understand.

I like words. They have precision and ambiguity at the same time. Take the following example from this week's A.Word.A.Day listserv:
"On the contrary" and "au contraire" mean the same thing. Literally. But in use-value they differ. The former is serious, indicating an actual debate. The latter is flip and sassy, not serious. They are different in tone.
Which is why I love words.

My point about the online dictionary is that I cannot get distracted. I look up ONE word by typing it in to the happy search engine. I get the definitions for that word alone.

Today I came across a word that was NOT in the online dictionary. Or, rather, it was, but I needed to subscribe the unabridged version. I didn't. I used those skills learned back in some time like 4th grade where you infer the meaning of the word by its context. I'm good at that.

I am made unaccountably happy by the fact that one of my authors actually stumped me with a word.

Hmmm. Was that too confessional for today?


  • Some drugs are better left untouched. Having said that, I like words as well.

    By Blogger Mark Base, at 6:52 PM  

  • I spend an inordinate amount of time here:

    By Blogger Christopher, at 10:44 PM  

  • And the T-Bone post was classic.

    Not at all related to this post, I know, but I'm catching up.

    By Blogger Christopher, at 10:45 PM  

  • t-bone post???

    By Blogger Susan, at 1:00 AM  

  • My lov-ah, T-Bone. A few posts back.

    By Blogger kT, at 9:50 AM  

  • Has an SAT question of the day. This is so much more fun when it has NOTHING to do with your future.

    I'm a nerd. I need to get out more.

    By Blogger kT, at 11:25 AM  

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