The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester
One of the things I’ve been reading this week is The Professor and the Madman about two of the many makers behind the massive Oxford English Dictionary that took seventy years to compile. One of my coworkers asked me how I possibly have time to read these days. Basically, I love reading and don’t have cable so when its time to feed the kid, I read. I found this book on the library’s ebook site and got hooked by the title.
The parts about murder and paranoid insanity in Victorian England are interesting, but Winchester tends to use arcane words just because he can. I get that the book is about a dictionary, but I’m not convinced that it’s ever a good editorial move to use words that people are not going to know. I feel like it’s probably helping me up my Sunday crossword game though.
My husband and I bought a house almost exactly a year ago. Actually, we found out we were having a baby on a Tuesday and learned that our offer on our house was accepted on a Wednesday. It was a big week for us.
I was pregnant when we moved and got big and awkward soon afterwards. I am not graceful under normal circumstances so adding a growing human to the mix brought out a whole new level of clumsiness. The point of this explanation is that we spent the past year mostly maintaining our house and dreaming of the projects we wanted to do. To be sure, some projects were undertaken and finished (like Greg’s dining room table and kitchen cart he built us), but mostly, we [and then just he] tried to keep things clean.
But now! The city has thawed, my body has healed and my brain and hands are itching to turn our house into our home. There’s projects we have already finished this spring and more that are underway and many, many more that are free floating thoughts under constant revision. I’ll put up what we’ve already done sometime in the future, but for now, I have a baby who’s waking up and asparagus crowns to plant.
My name is Caroline, and I want a place to keep track of ideas and thoughts. I also want to share them. I am a lot of things–a new mom, a wife, a daughter, a homeowner, a feminist, a Catholic, an aspiring gardener, a museum professional, a reader, an adjunct professor, an environmentalist, a Southerner…frankly, the list is long. Sometimes I feel like my mind runs a million miles a minute, which can be a great thing. It can also suck. I had a blog in the past that I had a great time doing until it wasn’t fun anymore: http://pictorialliterature.blogspot.com. I anticipate this blog going the same way.
I have been reading a lot of Dr. Seuss to my kiddo lately, and my favorite so far is Oh, the Thinks You Can Think! That’s where the title my lack-of-sleep addled brain thought up came from.