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October 7, 2009
life with dictionaries
life with dictionaries,
originally uploaded by torisan3500.

Main Entry: dic·tio·nary
Pronunciation: \ˈdik-shə-ˌner-ē, -ˌne-rē\
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural dic·tio·nar·ies
Etymology: Medieval Latin dictionarium, from Late Latin diction-, dictio word, from Latin, speaking
Date: 1526
1 : a reference source in print or electronic form containing words usually alphabetically arranged along with information about their forms, pronunciations, functions, etymologies, meanings, and syntactical and idiomatic uses
2 : a reference book listing alphabetically terms or names important to a particular subject or activity along with discussion of their meanings and applications
3 : a reference book giving for words of one language equivalents in another
4 : a computerized list (as of items of data or words) used for reference (as for information retrieval or word processing)

I love dictionaries. There, I said it. This blog may be the only place that statement is socially acceptable, maybe even understood or agreed with.

I am reading ahead for IST605 (Reference Services) in preparation of facilitating next week’s discussion. I signed up for this week based on not having a ton of work due. It was sheer luck that my week will cover dictionaries and encyclopedia.

I have vivid memories of all the dictionaries we had in our house growing up. (Mind you, we didn’t have the name brand sneakers or drive new cars, but our house was always filled with books.) We had an unabridged dictionary, and for the life of me I can’t remember which version it was. I don’t remember using that alot as a child, but I do remember my older sister using it to press her corsages from school dances.

When I was in grade school, I remember my parents buying a student dictionary set. One was a concise (high school) edition, and the other was more of a picture dictionary. I have found memories of using them to “play school”, and would leaf through them now and again to just peruse different pages and learn new words. I would also try and look up any unfamiliar words I came across while reading.

I also remember my Cassell’s French/English and Latin/English dictionaries. I know I requested and received one of them as a Christmas present. I also had a Roget’s Thesaurus, although now I’m not sure if it was Roget’s International Thesaurus or Roget’s II: The New Thesaurus. I’ll have to make sure to check next time I visit my mother.

My goal for tomorrow is to stop in at the school library media center, and check out their dictionary sections. I also hope to check them out when I head down to Binghamton University for my next observation. Very cool stuff, and I’m looking forward to next week’s discussion. I hope I can do the topic justice.

dictionary. (2009). In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.

Retrieved October 6, 2009, from

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