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#30804 - 07/10/00 12:36 PM Why I love reference material
kitten
Ching Shih


Registered: 06/05/00
Posts: 85
Loc: Toronto, ON

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I love English dictionaries because I get a kick out of tracing word histories. I have a couple older dictionaries and am just dying to get a copy of Dr. Johnson's book.

I love specialized dictionaries because I have a thing for collections, in general.

Why do you love your reference material? Is it because you can't stand to be wrong (I'm just teasing), or is there another reason?

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#30805 - 07/12/00 09:57 AM Re: Why I love reference material
Gayle
Ching Shih


Registered: 06/06/00
Posts: 44
Loc: Cape Breton, Canada

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Because I looooove to learn things. I love to be able to have histories of things at my fingertips. I often flip randomly through my reference books and read entries.
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#30806 - 07/12/00 01:50 PM Re: Why I love reference material
TraceyB
Ching Shih


Registered: 06/06/00
Posts: 1483
Loc: Minneapolis, MN

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Well, actually, kitten, I can't stand to be wrong.

I'm a trivia junkie. I love learning little bits of information on every topic imaginable. If I learn a new word, I want to know its origin. I have a collection of Asimov's non-fiction writing about all kinds of different things - the Bible, Shakespeare, the history of science and technology - because I like to browse through them. Ditto for An Incomplete Education. It's just so much fun!

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#30807 - 07/13/00 07:48 AM Re: Why I love reference material
kitten
Ching Shih


Registered: 06/05/00
Posts: 85
Loc: Toronto, ON

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Wouldn't it be great to work for some sort of trivia company? When I was in I think grade 4, you couldn't pry my Giant Book of Trivia away from me. Some kids thought I was a wicked loser because I could explain why 'ghoti' was pronounced 'fish,' but teachers loved me! Probably that trivia book was the start of me thinking that half the population are morons. There were *way* too many people who didn't think the stuff in my book was fascinating.

By the way, I don't relish being wrong either.

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#30808 - 10/10/00 11:56 AM Re: Why I love reference material
C76
Gráinne ni Mhaille


Registered: 09/27/00
Posts: 13
Loc: Ontario, Canada

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I love reference materials because I consider them a source of intellectual salvation and inspiration.

They also manage to remind me of all the things I have yet to learn.

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#30809 - 10/11/00 04:28 AM Re: Why I love reference material
Joy
Ching Shih


Registered: 06/02/00
Posts: 322
Loc: London

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I like to own reference works because I like to look things up. If a question is bugging me, I want the answer!

The Boy and I spent the two weeks before our wedding bothering everyone we knew to find out why there are two tides a day, when the moon only passes overhead once a day. Now we have a good geology book.

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#30810 - 11/10/00 10:45 PM Re: Why I love reference material
FishDreamer Administrator
Ching Shih


Registered: 08/27/01
Posts: 2804
Loc: Windy City USA

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So Joy, why are there two tides a day? Now I want to know! It seems like I should know this, but I don't.

Edited to add, I am an etymology freak. My big dream is to own the leather bound full OED. Some day I will reward myself with it, if my husband doesn't get there first.

[This message has been edited by FishDreamer (edited November 10, 2000).]

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#30811 - 12/17/00 08:51 PM Re: Why I love reference material
licorice
Ching Shih


Registered: 12/17/00
Posts: 47
Loc: New York - the state, not the ...

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 Quote:
Originally posted by kitten:
Some kids thought I was a wicked loser because I could explain why 'ghoti' was pronounced 'fish,' but teachers loved me!


So, why IS ghoti pronounced fish...and what on earth does that mean? ;\)

I enjoy finding answers with reference materials, but I'm even more thrilled when it creates further questions. I can't really explain it, but having a knowledge base that launches me into looking for further answers is my idea of heaven.

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#30812 - 12/17/00 11:19 PM Re: Why I love reference material
deborah Administrator
Chief Bibliofreak
Ching Shih


Registered: 05/27/00
Posts: 3901
Loc: Funkytown

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licorice, I think George Bernard Shaw originated this little gem:

gh - pronounced like the "gh" in cough
o - pronounced like the "o" in women
ti - pronounced like the "ti" in nation

= fish.

I feel sorry for ESL students, I tell you.

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#30813 - 12/18/00 05:36 PM Re: Why I love reference material
licorice
Ching Shih


Registered: 12/17/00
Posts: 47
Loc: New York - the state, not the ...

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Thanks. Crazy English language - I'm certain this is precisely how the cliche "Can't live with it, can't live without it" began. Unless, of course, another trivia fiend in here knows its true orgin. hee!
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#30814 - 12/19/00 07:59 AM Re: Why I love reference material
Joy
Ching Shih


Registered: 06/02/00
Posts: 322
Loc: London

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Sorry, FishDreamer, I didn't see your question.

Ok, the two tides a day. You know the moon pulls the water towards it, right? That's one of the tides. But the water it pulls towards it is only the water on the sides of the earth, not the water on the far side. So the water on the far side that doesn't get moved is the other daily tide.

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#30815 - 12/19/00 01:58 PM Re: Why I love reference material
FishDreamer Administrator
Ching Shih


Registered: 08/27/01
Posts: 2804
Loc: Windy City USA

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I still don't quite get it, but am willing to let that be one of the imponderables. Maybe if I study oceanography and astrophysics I'll be able to understand!

Thanks, Joy. That's pretty cool.

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#30816 - 12/19/00 10:41 PM Re: Why I love reference material
miercoles
Ching Shih


Registered: 10/29/00
Posts: 877
Loc: Ann Arbor, MI

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Adding to Joy's answer about the tides:

The tidal effect of the moon is a combination of the gravitational force of the moon on the earth, and the internal gravitational force holding the earth together. Together, they cause the earth to take on an "oblong" shape pointed towards the moon (calling the shape this is greatly exaggerated). The land does not budge, but the water moves. Since the shape is oblong, the water moves both to the side directly under the moon, and to the side opposite the moon. (This is where I would draw a nifty diagram. Alas, my ASCII skills are lacking.) Six hours later, the earth has rotated 90 degrees, so those two new points get the high tides. Another six hours later, the two original points have high tides again.

I hope that helps. It took me forever to understand tides, since they're not really intuitive, and I do study astrophysics.

Edited to stay on topic: I'm a sucker for physics and astronomy and math reference books. I have a CRC math book, and I'd love the CRC physics and chemistry. It's over $70, though, so I'm scouting library sales and used bookstores for an older edition (it's not like the speed of light changes, or anything). A lot of my textbooks are really good references too -- one has appendices and appendices of planetary data, stellar data, and computer algorithms.

[This message has been edited by miercoles (edited December 20, 2000).]

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#30817 - 12/20/00 04:50 PM Re: Why I love reference material
FishDreamer Administrator
Ching Shih


Registered: 08/27/01
Posts: 2804
Loc: Windy City USA

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Oh! Okay, I get it. Thanks Miercoles & Joy.

As for reference materials, I like dictionaries of all kinds. I have two American English dictionaries, an etymology dictionary, Japanese/English, Spanish/English, German/English, French/English, and Spanish dictionaries, and a Rogets thesaurus (which i always can find on the shelf, even the day after we moved). I also wish I had my parents' old encyclopedias from when I was little. They'd be horribly out of date now, but I still loved to read them. And I had one of those kid's book of the world style encyclopedias. And yeah, I spout of useless trivia all the time. But my husband is worse, he knows everything. My whole family thought he was a know-it-all on first meeting (he is!) but have mellowed a bit. As has he.

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#30818 - 12/27/00 10:13 PM Re: Why I love reference material
LenaF
Ching Shih


Registered: 12/26/00
Posts: 44
Loc: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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Dictionaries are great, for seeing what a word means where, what it used to mean, and all the roots, going right back to Latin or Greek or Sanskrit. I have the Canadian Oxford and it's full of slang and more swearwords than any other I've come across (lots more than my big ol' Random House, anyway). A thesaurus is like a big garden of words, and seems to cover the entire world, almost like a novel.

Reference books are big, reassuring, endless and all of them differ from each other to make owning them worth it. I don't like to be wrong, but it's more I want to learn as much as I can! (Ugh. I do read things besides reference books!) I like my Roget's because it was my father's, so it's like a link to him, and the 50s, when it came out...

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