Monday, December 29, 2008

What Santa Brought Me

On the first day of Christmas ... well, a couple of days early, for practical family reasons ... my wife and kids (two of them in absentia) presented me with a gift bag containing a lump of charcoal and an egg dyed green. It did not take me long to deduce that they stood in for a very trendy (and I say that in a positive way) piece of equipment used for grilling and smoking. 

Yum. I so have spring fever.

But on this fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me ... a dictionary.

So, as you can see, not just any dictionary. This is the Mother of All Dictionaries (the ones in English, at any rate). It's a twenty volume set, only a small fraction of which I will ever read before I bequeath them to my children, who will undoubtedly squabble over them voraciously.

The first edition was published eighty years ago (hence, the numerals on the graphic). This is the second edition, which came out in 1989. So it is, in some sense, obsolete. But it was obsolete before the ink was dry; such is the fate of any snapshot of a living human language. 

I have long been, in the true sense of both these words (look them up in your OED!), an amateur philologist. So this is an exciting gift. I will leave you with this tidbit from the opening entry, on the letter A:

3. In Abstract reasoning, hypothetical argumentation, Law, etc. A means any one thing or person...
1866 (in Bowen Logic iii, p. 49) Every conceivable thing is either A nor not-A. Of course, A and not-A, taken together, include the universe.

Ponder that!


Robert said...

What an excellent gift. And a plus knowing the sibling squabbling that will follow your demise. :)

Jerry said...

If you throw a reading/grilling party, I will bring steaks. Bizarrely great steaks, from furry cows who lived just up the road.

plsdeacon said...

While I don't have a Big Green Egg, I do own a Weber Kettle Grill and I did get (lump char)coal for Christmas.

I would love a copy of the OED as well. Is it coveting if I want the same thing you have so long as I don't take it from you (grin).

Anyway, Merry Christmas!

Phil Snyder

Anonymous said...

Robert...shouldn't that be an eggcellent gift?

BigTex AC

Anonymous said...

Ooh, BigTex, bad joke, brain hurt! Where is the coffee?

From one bibliophile/grillmeister household to another, awesome gifts! Your loved ones chose well!!!

Just last night we were talking about the many thousands of books that our sons will inherit from us and DH's father. It will be a daunting situation! One DS is well on his way to his own library. There is a constant need for more bookcases and more wall space. Dearie me!

Both DSs are well versed in the mysteries of pork barbecue and sauce!

Enjoy! :D