Monday, July 4, 2011

Time Travel and Land Lines

“There was a time when people used a dictionary the way it was intended—for looking up dirty words.” George Waters, The Wa Blog
            I’ll be moving in a couple of months and have been going through the house sorting, tossing, donating, and packing. And one of the things that I studied carefully before deciding which pile to stack it in was a dictionary, the one I used in college back in the early 90s. Paperback, tattered, and yellowed, just holding it brought back fond memories of a companion that never left my side.
            When did I stop using it? Years and years ago. Once Google came into my life it was much easier to find the definitions I wanted online, and handier, because I was already sitting at a computer.
            Now that I have a Kindle with the built-in dictionary, when I’m reading and don’t recognize a word, I just scroll to it and a bubble pops up telling me. I don’t even have to leave my reclined position!
            Maybe I should hang onto the paper dictionary, though. When I move, I’ll be going back to where I was raised, a farm in the middle of nowhere, and I won’t be able to Google things on whim (dial-up takes FOREVER), and my Kindle doesn’t receive a signal out there. Neither does my cell phone.
            It’s like time travel to the past. Land lines. Paper dictionaries. Colloquial sayings that make no sense: “I wouldn’t have that up my butt if there was room for a threshing machine!”
Maybe I should hang on to my dear old tattered friend. It may not help with colloquialisms, but it is nice and fat and should have most of what I need. And if it doesn’t, I guess I can turn on the computer and take a nap while waiting for dial-up to connect.  

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