Mine is big. Some might even say enormous. In fact it’s so huge that I often don’t know where to put it. Conundrum, conundrum….where should I put my big fat dictionary?
That’s right – I’ve got a supersized reference guide. A few years ago (*ahem*…*cough*…decades ago…) I purchased the greatest book of all time. I traded some green for a six-inch thick Webster© Dictionary. This was not just any Webster© but a tome that included definitions, bios and pictures of all the United States presidents, a section of famous quotes, flags of the world, an English to Spanish section, and can you guess what else? No, no you can’t, so I’ll tell you: a copy of the Constitution of the United States. Oh it’s true – it’s that awesome!
I procured this incredible treasure from a band of gypsies a.k.a. the near extinct creatures known as travelling salesmen.
Our workplace was some sort of vortex that sucked in strange sales people the way a siren pulls in sea captains. It’s so obvious now that our office full of vixens was inadvertently sending open wallet signals into the world. We were blind to our own powers.
Over the years we’d been plied with all manner of products from plants and paintings to food, clothing, and office supplies. I’m still not sure why we never locked the front door. Anyway, except for the sandwich guy – we loved him – we generally sent the rest away with a round of smiles and “so sorry, maybe next time” platitudes.
When a couple of college kids wandered in one afternoon laden down with boxes we were prepared to usher them right back out the door with our usual grace. That is until one of them said, “We have these surplus books…” No idea what he said next because rainbows had burst from the ceiling, a unicorn was prancing around my desk, and the sandwich guy appeared. Utopia was upon us (the sandwich guy is always in utopia – a girl has to eat). People were bringing books RIGHT TO MY DESK. FYI – this was pre-Amazon© so yeah, it was that exciting.
That day I purchased their last big fat Webster© and I’ve been lugging it around the world ever since. Every section has been poured over, pondered, and utilized. My once shiny red book now sports a broken spine, mended pages, some extra pictures thanks to my resident underage artists, and a garden of sorts made of flowers pressed between the covers of this heavy edition. It is the ultimate “go to” book.
When my own wee little band of gypsies now find themselves in need of definitions I send them to the Webster©. Yes, they could easily look the words up online using any one of a myriad of websites but then the art of using a hardbound dictionary would be lost. If you haven’t used your reference book in a while I think it’s time you did.
Today’s a great day to learn a new word and annoy your friends and coworkers by using it ALL DAY LONG. Developing a story and need some character or scene description? Open to a random page, close your eyes and pick a word. The next time you’re in the mood to palaver try the dictionary game: One person gets the book and picks a word and the rest need to try to spell and define it. This can really go either way as a family night game or a drinking game. You decide.
I’ll leave you with a little known fact about large dictionaries: They have alternate uses such as dining table booster seat, door stop, and paper weight. You’re welcome.