Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Historical Principles


I broke my Koboglo e-reader in a very cunning way. Stepping up from my seat and back from the desk my foot looped around the cord of the headphones which lassoed the reader in its cushioney pooch and pitched it to the floor. The wire connecting to the screen was broken by the impact and as I was quoted 60€ to fix it I thought it as well to get a new one. This time I went for a Kindle Paperwhite. I wasn’t aware that they had special offers on the screensaver by default, with a banner on the opening page. They only appear once you’ve registered which is further into the Amazon ecosystem than I like. Relentless eyeworms bore into your brain. Solution: Reset to pristine factory state, don’t register and get very pleasant screensavers of nibs, typeface, pen and ink. You lose the special offers which I have no use for anyway and cloud access and the free dictionary. The last is a loss which turned out to be a gain because I was able to find a 1913 version of Webster’s Dictionary which is on historical principles and out of copyright. An excellent dictionary which is true to Johnsonian individuality. This site will tell you how.
dictionary
I dragged and dropped which worked for me.
He also has an essay on why you’re probably using the wrong dictionary which is witty and persuasive.
wrong dictionary
Yes I agree and can offer you a test. Look up catamite. In my Concise Oxford dictionary of ‘72 edited by the Fowlers H.W. & F.G. the definition is sodomite’s minion. In the Shorter Oxford Dicionary (S.O.D. ’87) the definitions is a boy kept for unnatural purposes. The Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary (‘77) has a boy kept by a pederast. It seems to me that the first definition is tart, crisp and to the point, the second might be judgmental which is a fault and the third is imprecise. The Webster’s 1913 has the same definition as S.O.D. '87. Watch that space.

A good e-reader though once purged.

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