Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday Family Photo

It's a dictionary! Merriam-Webster's New International Dictionary, Second Edition, unabridged (1948) Here's the story of Merriam-Webster. My recollection is that this was a gift from my maternal grandmother Mary to our family for Christmas 1949, with a set of encyclopedias the next Christmas, although it's possible they were together, perhaps a 2-fer special. It remained in my parents' home for over 50 years, and was often used because my father was a cross-word fan, and they both would turn to the dictionary to answer questions just like we might use google today. Dad died in 2002, and I was probably the only one who requested this--at least I don't remember anyone else asking for it. It is sitting in my dining room on my mother's sewing cabinet, which she probably gave me sometime in the 1970s. Behind the sewing cabinet are the sliding glass doors for my early 1960s Paul McCobb china hutch which I don't use anymore, but didn't know where to put them. Ordinarily you don't see them, but they show up gray in the photo.

The last time I used this dictionary was this morning about 5:30 a.m. Here is the sentence that stumped me: "Psychopannychia emerges as relevatory of the young Calvin's thought." I had never seen "relevatory" before. Neither had Mr. Webster. And if it isn't in Webster's 2nd, I don't need to know!

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