Nia’s hand caresses the cover of Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary. The corners are fraying, yet the pages within, despite many Scrabble searches, are pristine. The tome is a graduation gift from 1986 — some things are worth holding onto. Calliope whisper-reads to herself from
Oh, yes, books. I don't need drugs to have my mind altered.
Along with many other newsletters and blog posts, I'm reading Cemetery House by Lee Hall. It's a thrilling fiction book about creatures taking over a town while certain people learn how to fight and kill them.
I am reading "The Fall of the Roman Empire" by Peter Heather. It's a look at (spoiler alert!) the fall of the Roman Empire, using new archeological evidence from the last hundred years. Many references to Edward Gibbon, of course. Heather hasn't come out and said it (yet) but earlier historian's talking about "this, THIS, is why the empire fell!" all too often were using the opportunity to point out what was wrong in their own country at the time; Heather is spending a fair amount of space going, "Mmm, let's see, um, NO!" to earlier conjectures. I'm learning a lot about the late Empire I never knew, including that "THE Empire" wasn't, really; it had gotten so large that having multiple emperors wasn't a political collapse, it was just a practical thing to manage a vast expanse.
Nice mugshot this morning. Found at a book purveyor’s shop? The town library?
I grew up with a two-volume Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary and a set of Collier’s Encyclopedias. In grade school there was no library, but each classroom (2 grades per teacher & room) had a number of dictionaries. “Find this word” contests were frequent.
Remember in English class? Learning “word attack skills.” Variants of “Hooked On Phonics.” Diphthongs, long and short vowels, consonants. Is that even a thing today? 🙂
My old dude bias thinks the increasing consumption of videos (no reading required!) and now AI in the form of Chat: GPT to create all manner of documents is killing the linguistics areas of the brain. Receptive and expressive language functions. Disuse = Atrophy. A manifestation of Bradbury’s comment about getting people to stop reading them. Because at this rate people simply won’t be able to read!
What am I reading now? Turbo-Tax 2022 IRS 1040 for Home and Business... Well, and Three Muses Merge. One of my guilty pleasures!