…there, but for the Grace (?) of Google…

…. when this ol’ Jurassic was a young lad (about a hundred years ago), I had a fascination for learning WURDS and other interesting ‘stuff’… plundering of the dictionary for ‘big’, multi-syllabled, buried-deep-in-Thesauras gems was a constant caper, causing more than a raised eyebrow from a succession of English teachers… likewise, great joy derived from delving into deepest, darkest, assorted children’s Encyclopaediae, which usually had the libraries’ best leather-bound covers…


…the smell was as attractive as the contents… snippets of historical, geographic, Natural Wonders, animal kingdom factoids abounded… and what a wondrous learning experience for any child… comes now not the Age of Aquarius, but more the Age of Queries… where the lexicons, courtesy of Oxford Press and Merriam-Webster;


…and the information treasure troves from Messrs Britannica and Collins are eschewed in favour of the instant-gratification facts-source of the ubiquitous Internet… as a writer, I’m also guilty as charged, m’Lud, of reaching reflexively for the Web as the checker/purveyor of detail and correctness for my tomes… and I mourn a little more each time… I mourn for the childlike pleasure of discovery that always attended the disclosure in these pages… I mourn at the mental sloth induced by the ease of tapping a button on a search engine link… and I mourn at the seemingly ready acceptance I have that this is ‘the new way of things’… and in that sum’time hypocritical stance often taken by an older generation versus a younger set, I wonder how badly-served is modern-day youth by not being asked to think for itself… to explore the avenues of WURDS and other wunnerful stuff that we enjoyed as youngsters… where the comparison of levels of English language capability from three generations past versus today’s shows an appalling slippage in standard… ah, Mabel, p‘raps it’s a case of… there, but for the Grace (?) of Google… see yeez later… gotta go check sum’thing on YahooLUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

15 responses to “…there, but for the Grace (?) of Google…

  1. I’ve always hung on to our set of World Book. I especially love the two-book dictionary. Some things have changed over the years, but a lot of it is the same. I love the large atlas I ordered with the set even though some lines and names have changed. My kids got good use of it the 80’s. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I bought World Book in 1990. The saleswoman was stunned when I welcomed her with, “Yes! You’re just the person I wanted to see!” She was amused when I told her about my recent research into getting a set of encyclopedias for my kids, and that I had decided the Britannica had “everything you NEVER wanted to know.” I added to the World Book set with supplements for more than 20 years, and it was the core curriculum for our homeschooling. When my youngest son left home, he took the whole shebang with him, but I missed the convenience of having it around (and the delight of discovery that Seumas described), so when the 2010 edition went on deeply discounted sale a few years later, I bought another set. No supplements this time, because it’s just for me! 😀

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  3. My parents bought the World Book Encyclopedia when I was a kid. I loved sitting on the hallway floor and reading about other countries. My fantasy world-building is modeled after those summaries – I can still picture them in my mind. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Ahh the memories. I’ll never forget our blue-bound Brittanica encyclopedias from my childhood.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Rosa Ave Fénix (Marina sometimes)

    You are right! All of us (more or less Jurassic)… have had dictionaris and books like these, but nowadays… who are opening them having google?????

    Liked by 1 person

  6. OH the fun of rolling around in the Thesaurus ( and picking up words to amaze and astound your friends/bullies as you outwitted them…quick wit and clever put downs used to be so admired…but we didn’t hit or shoot in those days)
    I have an encyclopedia “Book of Knowledge” from my great grandmother’s collection…it’s 3 volumes. A real delight – Google can’t come close to matching it.

    Liked by 1 person

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