Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Reading the dictionary, and nanna trolleys

I was up until past 2 am on Monday night reading a book about a man's adventures in reading the dictionary. No, I wasn't looking to cure insomnia. I couldn't stop reading it. Who would have thought such a book would be un-put-downable?

You may recall I mentioned Ammon Shea's Reading the OED a little while back. Not only did he read the entire Oxford English Dictionary - it was the TWENTY VOLUME SET I blogged about on the weekend! Holy crap! That's 62 kilograms of books, containing 21,730 pages bearing about 59 million words. Gadzooks!

The book details the year-long process of reading the dictionary as well as listing some of his favourite funny/quirky/obscure words. How he managed to condense his favourites into a 220 page book, I do not know.

I like the understatement of his opening line - "There are some great words in the Oxford English Dictionary."

The OED is not the first dictionary Ammon Shea has read - he has been collecting and reading them for a decade. I like that for most of this time he has been employed as...a furniture removalist!

He considers himself more as a collector of words rather than word books.

"These books are merely the tool with which I gather my collection. Although the books may be physical objects that take up room in my apartment, the real collection is the one that takes up all the room in my head, providing me with endless fascination and amusements as I move through the day, constantly thinking, 'There's a word for that...'."

I think I want to marry him.

I will blog my list of favourites from his list once I'm done.

Judith Lucy

I had a good old cackle at Judith Lucy last night. I probably didn't laugh as hard as I did when I saw Stephen K Amos, but I did relate to her and her stories much more.

For those who don't know, the show is called Judith Lucy's Not Getting Any Younger and she talks about being a single, 40-year-old renter whose friends called the hospital one night when she didn't come home, thinking it was more likely she'd been hurt than picked up.

Not that that I related to that bit! I liked the bit where she said she'd got herself a nanna trolley to cart her shopping as she doesn't drive. Like me! But then she said she thought it was an admission that she didn't think she was going to see another penis before she died. No! It's not true!

The show was at the fabulous Forum Theatre - upstairs! I never knew there was a theatre upstairs as well! It's gorgeous, with its blue ceiling and Greco-Roman statuary. It's faded like the first level, but I quite like faded glory.


Jayne said...

Love the Forum and I lurve Judith Lucy, she is pure gold :)

Wicked Wombat said...

Hiya Jayne
I just discovered by accident that I can click on the gleeful title in my emails and it brings me right here...and I thought it was just too complex to find my way over.
I read every single Gleeful update. Now I'll be able to comment as well.

dam buster said...

The forum is a little faded but still a great venue. The last time i was there was being dragged to the puppetry of the penis!

Abbeysmum said...

Excitement .....Wagon is coming to town, I was at the coffee shop next to my hairdressers this morning and there was a flyer saying Wagon will be here next month, should be back from U.S. by then, so will have to go and enjoy a very good night !!!

Frisky Librarian said...

Hi Jayne. I really like Judith Lucy too but she reminds me of Dame Edna! Something about the mouth... Couldn't stop thinking about it during the show!

Hey WW. Yay! Good to see you!

Hey db. Puppetry of the Penis eh? Did you enjoy the show? Did you buy the book and attempt re-enactments at home?

Hi Abbeysmum. Woohoo! Hope you enjoy it. If not, you can blame me. And how exciting, a trip to the US! Where and how long for?