Wednesday, July 23, 2008


As part of the decluttering, I emptied some book shelves tonight. The books on the shelves were not clutter, but they took up space that some clutter can go. Among the books were university textbooks that I didn't read when I was in University. And I'm not talking about the recent time I was in university. It's been more than 25 years and I must accept that I'm never going to be an expert on Generative Phonology. Or the conflict in the Middle-East as it stood in the late '70s. So it doesn't hurt to part with those books.

But I am having a hard time parting with my big fat Webster's Collegiate Dictionary with the scooped out tabs for each letter of the alphabet. I used to use it frequently, but now I have a dictionary widget on my iGoogle page.

I'm not ever going to need a dictionary again unless the internet goes away.

And while I think it is entirely possible that circumstances could arise in which the internet goes away, I can't imagine a dictionary being useful in any of those circumstances.

Still, it was a good dictionary.


Anonymous said...

Wow. You gave away your giant dictionary? What if you ever need to press wild flowers or autumn leaves? What if you need to make a fake-book safe to quickly stash a bundle of cash? You can’t do that on the internet.

Anonymous said...

I have just realized, reading the 1st comment above, that my 28 year old dictionary and thesaurus could serve as good bookends! David, maybe you should pluck that dictionary out of the Free shelf and find an alternative use for it.

David Scrimshaw said...

XUP and Manon,

I still have fat books for pressing wild flowers. Or for using as bookends.

I don't think I could bring myself to cut up a dictionary to be a secret stash book.

Jen G said...

I'll take the dictionary!

David Scrimshaw said...

Hey Jen,

You can have the linguistics textbooks too!

Jen G said...

David - I'll suss them out first if you don't mind. Is there a copy of S.P.E.?


David Scrimshaw said...

I've got Chomsky's Reflections on Language, but not the Sound Pattern of English.

But I've got Soames and Perlmutter's Syntactic Argumentation and the Structure of English. Much more readable than Chomsky.