The Mind's I


A person of much or varied learning; one aquainted with various subjects of study.

Love of learning and literature; the study of literature, in a wide sense, including grammar, literary criticism and interpretation, the relation of literature and written records to history, etc.; literary or classical scholarship; polite learning.

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November 2, 1998
The Oxford English Dictionary

I've got a new book today. Ok. Ok. I didn't really get the new book today. I received it from my coworker last week. Here's that story...

About four weeks ago...
Last week at work, I caught Keonaona and Robert talking about two men. One was Professor James Murray, the man who was the main editor of the Oxford English Dictionary for several years. When they started compiling the dictionary, he had people from all over the English-speaking world send in quotations to fill the OED with (complete with proper references). One of those men was a Dr. William Minor, who was one of the most prolific and best contributors to the OED initiative. Unbeknownst to Professor Murray, Dr. Minor could be prolific and accurate because he was incarcerated in a mental institution for killing another man and was found not guilty by reason of insanity. He was very deranged, believing that the Irish were coming into his home and forcing him to do bizarre sexual acts and torturing him. Dr. Minor would record quotations on tiny scraps of paper and would file and catalogue them in an elaborate manner. When the OED editors requested a word to be worked on, Dr. Minor would send them these quotes that he had compiled. Amazing. Well, the story got my interest and I told Keonaona that I wanted to definitely read the book.

About two weeks ago...
I asked Keonaona what the name of the book was that she was talking to Robert about because I wanted to purchase it. I had the money to get myself a new book and I decided, well, what the heck!

"Don't buy it," she said to me with a stern look.

I looked at her, puzzled. "How come? It sounded like a very interesting read! And I'm always looking for a good one."

She waved her hands about. "Oh no! It is a very good read. It's just that the publisher of the book is where I used to work and I can get the book for you."

"Wow!" the thought came into my head. "Free book!" "Are you sure?" I inquired without trying to seem to eager.

"No problem," she assured me.

Last week, Thursday
There is was. Sitting on my keyboard when I got into work. A copy of Simon Winchester's The Professor and the Madman. Wow. Keonaona is very cool.

Since I finished reading Douglas Adam's Starship Titanic last week (okay, I finished reading it on Tuesday and yes, I know it has taken me a week to pick up this new book of mine, but I have been rather busy, reading magazines and the like on the bus to and from work), I decided that I should take a stab at this new one. It's absolutely fascinating! I'll keep you posted, Constant Reader. Now, off to bed to feast my hungry eyes on my new treasure.

© Copyright 1998, Eileene Coscolluela