The Laurel Dictionary Collection and Museum (LDCM) exists to proclaim the good news of reference books as a source of trustworthy information that can be used to challenge misinformation, confront willful ignorance, and provide answers to an astonishing array of questions be they serious, silly, or something in between.
I am aware, of course, that reference books have fallen out of favor these days. Fortunately, I couldn’t care less. I maintain this attitude for several reasons, but the primary one is that, far too often, the information offered on-line is simply wrong or incomplete. This isn’t to say that the books that line the LDCM’s shelves are always right, just that they’re right more often than the internet, and the answers they provide are usually more thorough.
Let’s face it: The web is a primarily visual medium. Disagree? Watch another cat video and think about it. On the web, text is a liability and that limits the amount of nuance it can (and will) provide. Beyond that, the web is all about the now and the next, but when it comes to words, a little perspective is often necessary — and reference books do a better job of leaving a paper trail (pun intended) for would-be etymologists and lexicographers to follow. Beyond that, books are cooler and more interesting to peruse. (They just are. You know I’m right.)
Can you come and visit the LDCM? Yes! If you find yourself in or around Laurel, Maryland, drop me a line and we’ll arrange an appointment. If you can’t make it here, we also offer our services to anyone with a question about a word, phrase, symbol, or even something you seen in a dream. All you need to do is contact me and I’ll do my best to get you the information you need. Don’t be shy. Do it!
The LDCM is managed — and this blog is written — by me, Joe Smith (aka: Joe3 … it’s a long story). I am not a lexicographer. I am merely a fan of dictionaries (and other references), a curious student of words, and a lover of books. I possess a degree in English (not surprising) from Syracuse University, I am the founder of the College Park Community Library in College Park, Maryland, and I am a member of the Dictionary Society of North America.