Saturday, May 9, 2020

Stay-at-home shelfie #44

Just one book in this shelfie, but it's a biggie. This is the top of the bookshelf that's been featured in the past few snapshots. This dictionary (on this shelf/stand) had been at the house on Oak Crest Lane in Wallingford since I was a kid, and I inherited it. So now it's next to my bedroom desk. Everyone, even in the digital age, should have a dictionary the size of a small elephant in their house.

This is Webster's New International Dictionary of the English Language, second edition, unabridged. It was published in 1951 by G. & C. Merriam Company of Springfield, Massachusetts. The title page indicates that it "utilizes all of the experience and resources of more than one hundred years of genuine Webster dictionaries." The final numbered page is 3214. But there's also a printed note on that page that states, "Total number of pages 3393." It does not contain the nonword dord, which had been fully excised by Webster's by 1947.

V.K. Reiter raved about Webster's in this 2013 review on Amazon:
"Dictionaries come and go but the Webster's International Unabridged, Second edition, is the absolute king of them all and has remained so since the 1930s, when it first appeared. Later printings retained the quality of the original while adding new words and locutions as they took their place in the culture. The people at the OED may quibble about the Yankee tone of of the Webster's Unabridged Second Edition but it is as necessary to the flowering of our national literary culture and discourse as spring dew is to the flowering of the high desert."
When I inherited this dictionary, there were plants pressed between several of the pages. I've added to the things tucked inside, of course.

(Note: This one photo was taken at a different time than all of the other shelfies, as can be seen by the daylight outside the window.)

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