March 23, 2009 at 3:01 pm | Posted in J. Frederick | Leave a comment

Webster’s Dictionary defines “dictionary” as “a reference book containing words usu. alphabetically arranged along with information about their forms, pronunciations, functions, etymologies, meanings, and syntactical and idiomatic uses”, and as well they should, because that’s what it means.  But I can’t help but feel that the definition is lacking something, raising many more questions than it answers.  For example, if you don’t know what a dictionary is, how would you know to use one to look up the word?  These are the things I think about during my long, lonely hours in the dark, huddling for warmth in my cold, empty bed.  Here’s another thought: If you brainstormed for a few hours and wrote down every word in the English language, alphabetized them, and published your list, are you allowed to call it a “dictionary”?  Apparently not, I discovered recently – the dictionary people have very zealous lawyers.  I think they should mention that, perhaps with a large boldface message in the front cover.  And then, the other day I started to wonder if it would be possible to use a dictionary to beat a man senseless.  According to my calculations, it’s not only possible, but likely to eventually happen to everyone at least once in their lives.  Shouldn’t that be included in the dictionary too?  People need to be warned.  Then they would also know to use the dictionary to look up things like “police” and “hospital” – oh no, wait, now I’m thinking of the phone book.  Well, those are useful too. – J. Frederick

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