Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Library Classics

A slow day today. Took the opportunity to weed linguistics: 400-429. Not surprisingly for a public library, this section is small and mostly contains dictionaries, thesauri, and study guides.

Sprinkled among these library mainstays are various tomes on etymology, homophones, and slang. Reviewing the slang dictionaries reminded me of a couple of things from library school in 1987. One, the English language is considered by many to be the most rapidly-changing language in the world. This is evidenced by the number of slang dictionaries in the collection. Two, slang is the fastest-changing thing in a rapidly changing language.

So, when one purchases a slang dictionary for one's library collection, one should be prepared to toss it within a very short time period. It used to be every 10 years or so. Now I'm thinking every 2 years. "dot.com" was in a 1997 dictionary but "texting?" not a chance.

Now to find something that gives a historical overview of slang from 1980-1999 to replace what I had to remove today.

Continuing in the classic vein of the day, my evening has been bracketed by two classic events in a library's day. Around 7 pm a customer guaranteed me that my inability to meet his somewhat unrealistic expectations would result in the loss of my job. I'll look forward to hearing about the prospects for my future tomorrow. At 8:15 a madcap student of something unleashed a stinkbomb in the Great Reading Room.

Library customers, wherever you are, know that I appreciate your love of the classics. I can handle the classics. I relish the measured twirl and slide as we go through the prescribed steps in this dance. Going through these familiar moves is a pleasurable and conscious meditation. It brings new life to a tired mind and a twinkle to my eye.

Keep 'em coming. Contrary to popular belief, I'll be at the dance for a long time.

1 comment:

sexy said...