Thursday, December 11, 2008

My Love for Dictionaries

I love a good dictionary.

Perhaps because I grew up with a father who would never tell me what a word meant, I fell in love with the big book of words. Instead of defining a word for me, Daddy's pat answer was "Go look it up." I looked up many words because I wanted to know what everything meant. Sometimes, a lookup turned into another lookup and into another lookup as I came across other unknown words in the definitions. Before I knew it, I had spent a good half hour with the dictionary. For a 12-year old girl, this had to be strange at best.

One year, Daddy asked what I wanted for Christmas. I told him I wanted a dictionary, one of my very own. And, if possible, I wanted the biggest dictionary he could find. That year, the heaviest box under the tree on Christmas morning was Webster's Third New International Dictionary, which I have dragged across the country for college, grad school, and work. My husband affectionately refers to it as the 86-pound dictionary.

I still have a penchant for dictionaries. At a yard sale, I cannot pass by a 50-cent dictionary without buying it. If someone is cleaning out his or her office, I cannot allow a dictionary to slip through the cracks.

I'm trying to come up with some creative ways to use these dictionaries. It almost seems sacrilegious to do anything that would involve removing, cutting, or otherwise destroying a page out of a dictionary. But some of these dictionaries are old, coffee-stained, already torn, crinkly (ok, VERY crinkly), and I have been on a quest to get rid of about 60% of our stuff. So, I am ready to consider what I can do with pages of an old dictionary other than apply for a spot at the Smithsonian.

Wrapping Gifts
It's Christmas time, and I have blogged about ways to avoid using gift wrap this year. I don't know why I didn't think of using some dictionary pages until just now. How beautiful would a gift wrapped in dictionary pages with red ribbon be?

Borders, embellishments, the list goes on. I don't really scrapbook, but it seems like a good idea. Maybe there are reasons not to, though, for arhival purposes?

Ok, so maybe not. But wouldn't it be awesome to have dictionary wallpaper?

Cute little swans out of dictionary paper? Ohhhhh, yeah!!

Something else?
What ideas do you have? All serious inquiries that preserve the integrity of the dictionary will be considered...

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