April 7th, 2010


Recent reading

Over Pesach, I read "The Lexicographer's Dilemma" by Jack Lynch. Overall it was quite good; many chapters were utterly fascinating while others were a predictable retread of stuff I already knew, but even then it rarely bogged down. Lynch's topic is how lexicographers, and specifically lexicographers of English, have handled the tension between descriptivism and prescriptivism. His position seems to be that neither absolute is correct -- a dictionary serves both those who need to understand the language "as she is spoke" and those who are looking for a guide to generally received "proper" usage.

I recommend it (as a library book) to all those who enjoy words. Be warned, though, that the waiting list in the Minuteman system is quite long -- I reserved my copy in January and just got it.

I finished the Percy Jackson series recently. Enjoyed them through the end, and really appreciated the final twists and how Riordan kept the suspense ratcheted up. These aren't just good YA books; they're good books. And now Tani wants to read Homer.