A must read for the inquiring mind

An must see chronicle of the inception and development of the Oxford English dictionary

The 'Professor and the Madman" … a 5 star… movie.

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Yes, the movie was good, but the book was better.

Simon Winchester an awesome storyteller.

Quite the revelation when it first came out, especial for all dictionary lovers.

Which reminds me of my big revelation yesterday, but perhaps that deserves its own post. :wink:

The Map That Changed the World

If you are into geology, this one is a must.

As English is my second language, I have 3 dictionaries lying around the house, in case I run into a word I don’t exactly know its definition.

One interesting tidbit I discovered is that the oldest words usually have the largest number of synonyms. i.e. home,

Compare Synonyms

or food:

Compare Synonyms

See also synonyms for: foods

Today, most new words have a single very specific meaning.

You’d have liked my dad, emigrated from Germany in '56 when my sis and I were barely out of infancy and wife pregnant with another. We grew up in a small apartment that made room for one of those huge dictionaries that required its own pedestal stand. Family lore had it that he spent his first years in America reading through that entire dictionary, though I suspect that’s slightly embellished, though it was an awesome inspiration for us young tots as we grew up.

I am sure he did, I did! In Holland I took English in HS. After HS, I landed in Canada and spend 3 years working for a film distributing co, a record distributing co, before I joined a musical group as musician.
In the mean time I studied the dictionary page by page looking for words that I didn’t know . I know exactly how your dad felt. I still consult the dictionary regularly, when challenged on a word I use that may seem inappropriate, but is a better choice than most people might choose.
I found that most English speaking people are usually lazy in their use of the language, which is a shame because English is a very eloquent language when spoken correctly.

People spoke so eloquently during the Elizabethan age.

Shakespeare’s Influence on Modern English & Pronunciation

The language in which Shakespeare wrote is referred to as Early Modern English, a linguistic period that lasted from approximately 1500 to 1750. The language spoken during this period is often referred to as Elizabethan English or Shakespearian English . It falls between two major linguistic stages in the history of English: Middle English, the language written and spoken during the Middle Ages, most famously by Chaucer, and Modern English, the language we write and speak today.

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Side note - I’ll bet most people would be astonished if they could hear recordings of the pilgrims and early settlers - they probably sounded completely British!

LOL, I doubt that. Some British dialects are incomprehensible.

10 British dialects you need to know

  1. Scottish · 2. Geordie · 3. Scouse · 4. Yorkshire · 5. Welsh · 6. Brummie · 7. West Country · 8. R.P…9. Essex… 10 . Cockney.

And just for entertainment, listen to Robin Wiiliams exlain how the Scots invented “golf”

(warning , crude language)

Now there’s one dude who never disappointed.

One of the funniest routines of my all time favorites list.
Had me rolling on the floor when I first heard it,
I’d had a few golf games in my life during my senior high school and then Wawona Meadow, YNP.
But that was about the beginning and end of it.
Now I hear it and it still makes me laugh, and I still wonder what is it about this routine that it has such an outsized impact on my imagination and funny bone, the few times I hear it.
His quickie on the Luge is echoing in my mind as I write this.

On Broadway, that was a good show, ageless almost, at least for us, of that age. :wink:

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Speaking of Robin Williams, have you ever thought about the way he died?
If the published details are correct, he went out, watching himself die.
I mean, that is some brass balls.
That’s one solid human.
In a sea of posers.

No, I spared myself the grief. I like to remember this extraordinary human when he was at his best.

He created the perfect visual . On the road as musician I played many resorts and had time to play a few rounds. And at my level of play the way Wiliams painted the scene, and every time I watch this classic all those memories come back and just fall apart,. :rofl:

I’m starting to think you’re just a contrarian. What do YOU think the early settlers, who came from Britain, sounded like? Are you thinking they sounded like southern hillbillies?

No, but their native dialects might be just as incomprehensible. Except for the British gentry and clergy, most immigrants were poor uneducated peasants from all over Europe’s country side who sought a better life in America.

Very few had even heard of Shakespeare, most didn’t speak English, and most could not even read.

My point was, they would not have sounded like “Americans” sound today. And that would include the founding fathers too. I’ll bet they would still have had a heavy British accent. Anywho.

Oh I agree, but dialect wasn’t in question. The point was that Shakespearian (Elizabethan) eloquence of speech has gradually been lost.

i.e. Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address begins with the words,

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal .”

Another excerpt from:

Lincoln: Our Most Eloquent President
by Diana Loski

After losing the Senate race to Douglas, Lincoln still gave speeches defending individual freedoms based on the Constitution. At a gathering in Cincinnati, on September 17, 1859, Lincoln again defended liberty and the document that was supposed to provide it by saying, The people of these United States are the rightful masters of both Congresses and courts, not to overthrow the constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the constitution .”4
Lincoln: Our Most Eloquent President

How pertinent still today are these words!

I want to know what Geordie sounds like and I don’t mean Geordie from S.T. I mean the above aforementioned.

I was taken aback by that Write.
Been chewing on it a couple days.
It indicates an insecurity to me, and I’ve been think hard on why I can’t relate that.
Even watching myself transition into the “aging” stage of life, watching my body slowly wither, etc., etc.
It’s all a part of the show.
I got in bed a few minutes ago and it struck me that I genuinely reconciled with death, so now I find myself pounding at my 'puter again.
Of course, I want to live and do all I can to continue doing so, no death wish here, nothing of the kind, it’s simply that I’m reconciled with the inevitability.
I was with my Dad his last years and when he died, my mother is gone and so are some dear friends who went too early. So I’ve tasted the sting and loss, but for me it becomes a part of the tapestry, it’s what life is, including the hurting, it circles back around to loving.

I don’t relish anyone’s death, and someone that takes their own life, that’s tragic and I’ve felt that horror fairly close to me. It’s different from an accident or illness, it does demand some kind of understanding a different kind of closure. Turning away from it, is like pretending it away, like most people I know of need to do. Death seems perceived as some enemy, when it’s simply the tax payment coming due.

Maybe that’s why I was so into trying to write about my experiences and the perspective I’ve distilled out of my own life and experiences, because I do have a deep down understanding - appreciating - solidity that many strive for in all the wrong places. I don’t feel overwhelmed by the world (only human stupidity)

Look at the world, look at how billionaires, and the powerful live and behave, at the root there’s a pathetic insecurity and fear, too often mixed in with a touch of self-loathing, that gets transferred onto others. Look at today’s mega successful politics of resentment and grievance, talk about insecurity personified permeating We The People just as much as the one percenters. Everybody is looking for answers, so was I, I took the challenge and now I’m comfortable, questions answered, and it is good.

good night

Ozark Hillbilly is more easily understood than Geordi. lol My grandparents lived in Doree (Dora) Missoura. It’s just down yonder a spell and I spent many a summer down there in them hills and never got tarred of it.


More like Shakespeare than today’s Brits.