Tv blabs, movie blabs, book blabs. Lots of blab, but no flab.

Sunday, July 31

Still Haven't...

Got to read Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince yet...

I'm currently reading The Surgeon of Crowthorne. A thoroughly entertaining book by Simon Winchester about the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary. Now, I heard the collective yawn at the end of the last sentence, but I assure you that it's far more interesting than it first sounds. Would you expect a book about a dictionary to include murder, war and asylums? Probably not.

Winchester shows a passion for his topic and weaves the facts into an intriguing story. I never knew that the creation of the first complete dictionary was such a mammoth task. Few of us today would ever give a passing thought about the first people to wonder about the immensity of the English language and why it hadn't been recorded.

After reading three-quarters of Surgeon I have a new appreciation for dictionaries and of the people who devoted their lives to creating the first complete edition. It may cement my reputation as a book geek but I definitely set my dictionaries as my most useful books.

Tonight alone I have referenced my small Australian Heinemann Dictionary seven times. And if I'm looking for an older perspective I'll open my antique Modern Standard English Dictionary from the 1940s. I admit to not owning an Oxford English Dictionary; I will one day take the step and purchase one.

They have a reputation for being boring and dull, but the dictionary is a thing of life; past and present.

3 viewers interjected with:

Blogger zef said...

Dictionaries are wonderful things!

they make great paper weights!!

but no, for real, that books sounds great, I'll have to borrow it.

words are the world, without them nothing worthwhile would ever be accomplished.

31/7/05 5:11 am

Blogger Kirsten said...

I love that book too :) I read it a couple of years ago because I got it for christmas, and was a bit skeptical at first (I thought it would be boring) but was very pleasantly surprised. I am a bit of Simon Winchester fan now, have read 'The Map That Changed the World' and 'Krakatoa' as well, but they are not as good as Surgeon I think.

Half Blood Prince is good, too when you get around to it! ;)

31/7/05 9:31 pm

Blogger Casyn said...

Now that I have a small set of shelves on my desk I can keep my dictionaries and word related books right within reach. It's also where I keep my ever expanding collection of Buffy & Angel novels and books.

My copy of Surgeon is part of an omnibus edition that also has The Map That Changed The World and The River At The Centre Of The World in it. Surgeon is in the middle; it's an odd feeling starting and finishing a book without closing either cover. Feels like finishing a song a chord early, no true resolution (even though the story resolves well).

Kraktoa is the one book of Simon Winchester's that I've been wanting to read. I'm facinated by this event.

I'm going to start Half-Blood Prince on Thursday. I want to give myself a couple of free days to try and read it through.

1/8/05 12:22 am


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