Monday, June 09, 2008

They Invent Any New Places Lately?


It’s hard to find some recently re-named country in a geographical dictionary that’s twenty-five years old. Whatever happened to Ceylon, by the way? And why can’t I find Sri Lanka in that old book of mine? They’re the same place, after all.

Loads of people have achieved fame, the type of which will stand for years, if not centuries. But, alas, their names have been enshrined in our common memory since my biographical dictionary came off the press and into the bookstore.

You will remember, of course, my meanderings exactly a month ago about replacing my main dictionary due to its age; in our living language, words develop and/or change meaning, perhaps have a meaning added to them. Late night comedian Stephen Colbert’s “truthiness” (“the quality of preferring concepts or facts one wishes to be true, rather than concepts or facts known to be true”) will probably end up being one of them, if it becomes part of our regular use.

So I have sprung for four relatively new books. A 2000 unabridged dictionary; while used, in new condition. A 2007 desk dictionary, the latest edition. Today, a geographical dictionary and, perhaps, the last edition of the biographical dictionary – all published by the Merriam-Webster company. The last two are used, but in excellent condition (as are mine) and now I need to find a worthy owner for what I have.


Post a Comment

<< Home