Tuesday, September 15, 2009


I am studying HTML working my way through an excellent online tutorial. The topic is "dictionary list" and I am told that this is an excellent way to make a Glossary.
Now, every time I think of "Glossary" I have a fond flashback to grade school and my first remembrance of our textbooks. Not that I remember exactly what content was in them (bad stuff like Religion, and Grammar I am sure). I remember making covers out of some plastic/oil cloth type of material, folding and taping, to protect the used book's actual cover.
And more fondly I remember being told that these books had a "Glossary", usually near the end. This was a special section because it was filled with many new words and what these words meant. This was a learning process I enjoyed and even today I daily go to the dictionary to find out the meaning and origin of some word.
I have in my box of old family photos, a couple of report cards from when my dad went to the one-room Bean Schoolhouse for his grade school education. I have a 'brown book' (before 'blue books' I guess) that he has written in a numbered list of words and definitions and the books they came from. He must have used a nibbed pen and ink from a well at his desk to make his Glossary. At that time the handwriting is unhurried and neater than his later style, when he had six children and a wife to be thinking about.
Today on the radio I heard a report announcing that by now Google has scanned the entire contents of millions of books. A claim of '100 years of knowledge'. Of course all the text is searchable, and the radio announcer promised 'a new way of reading'.
I see it now. Instead of coming across a word and looking up it's meaning in a glossary or a dictionary, you click on it so some money changes hands and you are offered a chance to buy whatever it is through Google AdWords. Pig in a Poke, anyone?

No comments:

Post a Comment