Friday, February 5, 2010

new monkey

he lives in the amazon

and he's only just been discovered

(yes but he must have known he was there all along surely?)

New Monkey doesn't look that pleased to have been discovered. or is it the name they've given him: "saddleback tamarin"?

well, how would you like someone to go round calling you "saddleback tamarin" when your name is George?


Posted via email from s@lly l-j

Monday, February 1, 2010

Happy Birthday OED!

Today, in 1884, the first part of the first edition of the OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY was published. From A to Ant.

The Philological Society of London came up with the idea of a new dictionary 30 years before. And made an agreement with Oxford University Press to publish it. They said it would take 10 years to complete and they'd do 4 volumes and it would be 6,400 pages. (Oh dear. What were they thinking?) In fact it took them 5 years just to finish the first volume--A to Ant. And in the end the dictionary took 70 years, was 10 volumes and 15,490 pages.

When I worked at OUP in Oxford, they said you could always tell who were the Dictionary People. They had a pasty underground look and scurried between buildings and wore big macintoshes (they of all people would not, I imagine, call them macks) all buttoned up and belted tight (as if this was the only thing holding everything together) with big cloudy glasses and greasy hair (who has time to wash your hair when you're compiling such a work and it's taking you your whole life to get from a to ant?).

But this was not in the 1880s of course (I'm good for my age but not that good). It was the 1980s. And well OK this is a description of only a few Dictionary Persons because those are the only ones anyone ever saw (the rest were in The Dictionary Building working of course--probably on the OED2 published in 1989 in 20 volumes). So this description is obviously a terrible generalization. Unfair. Exaggerated. Probably not true. And you shouldn't believe a word of it. After all, you don't judge a book by it's cover. Or a Dictionary even.

I like Dictionaries. And Dictionary People. Where would we be without them?

long and difficult or short and fun?

"It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like 'What about lunch?'"
A A  Milne, (books by him) (1882-1956)

(don't you love him? he'd be someone you'd want to have lunch with!)

where AM I?

back to my site?
back to twitter?

back to my super duper blog?
Blog Widget by LinkWithin