Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I am sleeping with Ammon Shea ...

In recent months, my MP3 player drowns out someone's  snoring at night ... that's both the good news and the bad news.

I have slept through all kinds of lectures on writing, grammar, and the Lord of the Rings (I'll update for links sooner than later). I stumble upon fabulous audio books at my library and their digital branch ... and much as I hate to say it, but a good title will do wonders to get someone to read/listen.

One thing I know for sure, I sleep better with men (narrators) than women ...

Most recently I have been sleeping to Ammon Shea's Reading the OED.  In all of the collections I have been aware of (sorry to the grammar and syntax police), but I never knew anyone who actively collected words.  I mean the man READS dictionaries for fun. And not the small collegiate dictionary I dragged to the university once upon a time ... but every one he can find.  He even read one that I have in my possession ( Webster's from 1934) ...

The OED (Oxford English Dictionary) is 20 volumes!  Ten hours a day for around a year ... I wonder how many pairs of reading glasses he burned up?

That's determination, drive, and a lot of eye strain.

Smart Granny
Now, my granny was a very smart woman.  She was raised in a time when women didn't pursue higher education.  When a set of encyclopedias found their way to her home, she read all of it.  To me, this was impressive as I only used them to do reports for school and she did this voluntarily.

Anyway, as I digress, and I usually do, Reading the OED is a great read/listen.  There is a lot of humor, fun anecdotes, and you don't feel stupid because the only dictionary in the house is the one by the bed because someone is too short to get into the thing on her own.

Check it out.

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