Lily Iona MacKenzie's Blog for Writers & Readers


Mea Culpa!

dictionary-432042_1920I’m grieving the loss of dictionaries, thick, massive volumes that I used to lose myself in. I would open a page and find hundreds of words, all of them demanding my attention, each a miniature world to explore. But now I’ve become a victim of on-line lexicons. They are handier than putting aside my laptop computer and marching into another room to unload the Oxford from a bookshelf where it resides.

And that’s the problem: Convenience. Efficiency. There are so many things that I’ve given up because they don’t fit into this new fast-paced world. Things that requires thought and time and attention. So instead of venturing into the unknown swamp of words as I once did, now I search for words one at a time. No longer do I roam in the wilderness of new possibilities that take me in unimagined directions.

I know. You can argue that if I really wanted the full dictionary experience I could keep the Oxford by my side while I’m writing. I’ve thought of that solution. But I’ve also been conditioned to how quickly I can search for a word on-line versus fumbling through the print version. Every second counts, and by just striking a few keys, I can quickly find what I want.

So while I’m mourning the standard dictionary’s demise, I’m also aware of my own culpability. Mea culpa!


2 thoughts on “Mea Culpa!

  1. I do beg to differ, Lily, if slightly. Browsing the web, leaping from one subject to another, could be likened to the dictionary wonderland of yore. Especially lectures by though-provoking scholars on Youtube have this quality, I’d venture. Even so, one does miss the random richness of the demised dictionary. At least, people above a certain age do 🙂

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