It's not runes, it's just: Fun with Dictionaries

Becky
filed under: language, found-objects
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Growing up, a trip to the library was usually doomed to be frustrating because I could never decide which books to check out; hence (and with Sunday School visions of King Solomon's, er, radical problem-solving techniques still in my head), I removed any agency I had in the matter & plucked books at random, careful to avoid reading the spines--I even carried this contrivance all the way to the check-out, staring at my nail beds while the books were swiped, bagged, and shoved my way. I'd finally allow myself to look at them when I was safely outside the library and could revel in the unique pleasures of the grab bag--somber but resigned to find a CAD manual or two, and elated whenever I discovered some author it might have otherwise taken me another decade of connecting-the-literary-dots to discover.

It's in this same vein of library hijinks that I'd like to dedicate this week to a kind of alternative (well, is there any other kind...?) divination: I'm going to go into a different bookstore everyday, locate the largest dictionary present, and select a word. As in: close my eyes, flip, and point--a game as old as time, and also perhaps indebted to David's Tuesday Turnip. I'm not endorsing this as any kind of mental_floss prophecy--it's just something different. I'm not promising that the selected word is going to be particularly interesting, humorous, or obscure, but I will be honest in posting my first selection, and if there's a way in which it applies to your day, please share. And if it doesn't speak to your day, then feel free to relate how it applies to your life experiences or beyond; in general, just have fun & free associate in the comments to your heart's content or until this post slides off the page...

THE BOOKSTORE: Housing Works, NYC

THE DICTIONARY: Webster's Third New International Dictionary, 1986

THE WORD: "showmanship"

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October 29, 2007 - 7:43am
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