Monday, July 11, 2005
Effete Snob of Epic Proportions
Am I thrilled by the soon-to-be-released Harry Potter book? (A little but apparently much less than many people.) Am I fascinated by current New York Times bestsellers? (Very rarely.) Am I feeling an amphetamine tingle at getting my hands on popular paperback thrillers? (I indulge this appetite on occasion.)
No. I'm roused by Samuel Johnson's Dictionary: Selections from the 1755 Work that Defined the English Language, edited by Jack Lynch (Delray Beach: Levenger Press, 2002). So. Selections from a dictionary 250 years old are important how? Because I love words! You should know this about me: I'm currently flushed on a nasty rush of mainlining linguistics. Oh, yes, I'm making the drug references. It's inevitable that one day I will get a copy of the microscopically reduced facsimile edition of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) to satiate my lust for words and reading it will destroy my eyesight. And, yes, I'm making the sexual innuendoes about fecking words. Yes, I went there.
Another book giving me shivers is Dictionaries: The Art and Craft of Lexicography by Sidney I. Landau (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989). Let see, a book about the writing of dictionaries must be really exciting. But it is, Blanche, it is!
So now I have revealed a supremely geeky side of myself. Can you ever respect me again? But I will not be ashamed by my admission. Yea, I will wear my love proudly, loudly proclaiming "I play with consenting words!" However I draw the line at marching with a banner at Gay Pride. I have some discretion, after all. I'm not ashamed but some of the words I consort with have families unaware of their dalliance in my mind.
So, please, don't say a word...