Out of Order 📖 | 41

In this edition we talk about dictionaries and how alphabetical order isn’t necessarily the best way to organize the work. Instead we talk about organizing dictionaries chronologically or even horologiconally. Not aware there were alternatives? Tune in to this episode to find out more.

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music by Dyalla Swain http://soundcloud.com/dyallas

AUTOMATED TRANSCRIPT

[Music]
hello and welcome to parking thought the
show where we highlight the good in the
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curiosity mmm gratitude my name is Jacob
and I’m glad you’re here today in this
edition we’re going to be talking about
dictionaries yes
dictionary this subject has come up at
least casually once before on this
podcast and so we’d like to add another
layer of information for those of you
that might have missed the previous
conversations or previous anecdotes I am
a fan of dictionaries I have a good copy
of Webster’s third sitting outside and
that book itself is probably about eight
inches thick I love it it was my
separation gift from the military and
it’s a rather wonderful book to have now
the dictionary has a few different roles
in our society and because of marketing
campaigns the dictionaries actually been
asked to be a few different things but
maybe it’s not so good for for example
the dictionary only records the use of
language at the time it takes artifacts
of in instances of a language and puts
them together in a way that it’ll help
other people understand but marketing
campaigns for dictionaries about a
hundred years ago decided to let them be
marketed as the source of truth and the
authoritarian view on the English
language again great marketing strategy
poor poor poor consequences right so it
worked pretty well
the dictionary is not the end-all be-all
for how a word is used or meant to be
used or is meant in a particular
sentence it’s a good guide it’s better
than nothing I enjoy it because it’s a
good guide and better than nothing but
it is not perfect Webster’s third is a
tremendous event of human accomplishment
but it is not a perfect dictionary now I
don’t know if there ever will be a
perfect dictionary we all use language
so differently and that’s okay we
generally get along we generally mean
the same things but I love hearing a
word or a phrase or something else that
allows me to think about the language
we’re using whether or not we’ve used it
proper
at work I train people on how to
identify opportunities for conflict
where they might disagree and some of
those opportunities for conflict come
because we use words differently or we
have a different understanding of the
same thing and I describe these as the
cow beef situation so back in the day
when the Normans from France conquered
England and the Battle of Hastings at
they brought with them the French
language and the French language was
used as the official language of England
for quite a long time what was
interesting about bringing the French
language into England and making it the
official language for all government
business is that you had different words
for food right and those words and that
heritage of those words is carried down
with us today in English so in English
when we talk about eating the meat from
a cow right we don’t talk about it as
cow meat we talk about it as beef beef
being the word of French origin and cow
being the word of Old English and
Germanic origin the same thing happens
with chicken
we don’t although today are lazy English
again we kind of use the word chicken to
refer to the meat and to the bird
typically we refer to in professional
circles when we refer to the meat from a
chicken we refer to it as poultry again
poultry is the French origin so when you
have a cow beef situation it’s a
situation where you’re talking about the
same thing but you’re using different
language to do that and sometimes if we
know that we’re gonna walk into a
situation where we can see that or it’s
likely to happen it makes it easier when
we get there to move quickly through the
conflict that it occurs and so that’s
why I like to describe things as cow
beef situations when I train people on
how to get through conflict especially
when there’s different languages
involved now there is no perfect
dictionary right language will continue
to evolve I don’t think we’re gonna have
any foreign country invade English you
know to the the sense where there’s a
dramatic you know overtaking of the
language but I do think we’re going to
adopt new words from new cultures the
word hammock right actually comes and is
one of the very first words that has
come to English
the Native American cultures after
Christopher Columbus one of the first
things Columbus did on his way home was
bring hammock technology into the ships
and that later translated over into the
English ships and then spread around the
world and so when the hammock physical
device entered the English ship yards so
did the word enter our language and so
for me I want a dictionary that is
organized properly and what do I mean by
organized properly well there’s a couple
of different ways of organizing in
dictionary the dictionaries that we have
Webster’s third and others are organized
in alphabetic order and that works well
alphabetical order is a system of
organizing things and it’s very well
known and reasonably you know easy to
use in ABCD efg hijk LMNOP QRS TUV wxy
and Zed yes I said Zed because I married
a Canadian woohoo all right so the
alphabet is generally understood but it
doesn’t mean it’s a very logical system
it happens to be the order that the
characters written out for our language
in Phoenician then adopted by the Greeks
then adopted by the Romans and then
passed down through our various
linguistic heritage so as a system it
doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense
there are two other ways of organizing a
dictionary that I generally prefer and
one of them I will tell you about and we
can go on a search together to find the
one book that did it and the other one
is a book that you can easily buy on
Amazon so let’s get to the first the
first dictionary that I would like to
get that I think is logically organized
would actually be a dictionary organized
by the date or approximate date that the
word entered the English language yes so
it would be a chronological dictionary I
did find that one of these dictionaries
has been published and there was not a
very large run of it being published and
then the only copy that I know of in
existence is in Australia right now and
what is the equivalent of their Library
of Congress I do not plan on making a
trip to Australia just so I can thumb
through that dictionary but I’m really
curious and would love to see him
wouldn’t it be cool to see all of the
words that entered the English language
in
and then again in and then again in
and then again in and as
literacy has gone up be able to see the
massive amount of new words as they
entered in we don’t have a good system
for doing this and let’s be honest our
ability to exactly determine when a word
was popular enough in the printed line
you know in printed form to be able to
be a part of the English language is not
a perfect science but well it’s not a
perfect science it would still be a fun
way to explore the English language
organized by the date that things
arrived and I would love to be able to
do that at some point and maybe down the
line I’ll make that a project and get
that done there’s another way to
organize a group of words and this one
is a little fun and this comes from Mark
Forsyth so mark Forsyth and I think
we’ve talked about this before organized
the dictionary or organize that book we
did talk about this before I’m pretty
sure we talked about the whole logic on
but yeah let’s pretend we didn’t so Mark
Forsyth organized a book called the
horror logic on so it’s a book of words
organized by the time of day that you’re
most likely to use them and these aren’t
just normal everyday words they might
have been at one point in some place but
they were words that have generally been
lost from the English language and then
brought back in there’s a few of them
that are my favorite one of them is the
word puzzle a few DGL and it means to
pretend like you’re looking busy usually
by holding a clipboard or paperwork
right while you’re supposed to be
working and so it work a lot of times I
have to go from one meeting to the next
and network with one person or next as
part of my job as a project manager and
so one of the things I like to do is I
tell people that I’m fudge willing and
they kind of look at me and laugh wonder
what that is and then by the time they
look it up they they start to think well
Jacob really gets stuff done but you
know it’s I’d use it intentionally in
its opposite form the same way that you
can use regardless and here regardless
you know as meaning the same thing
some words do get to be used as their
opposites and I’d like to use the word
fudge aligned as its opposite
but fledglings in there Gahan goozle is
in there as well Gangu so means to stare
at the activity in a canal right so mark
Forsyth in this book
organized Gong Google and fudge roll
based upon the time of day that you’re
most likely to use them and what’s
amazing is that organizing a book in
that form actually makes the words a
part of a story it makes it easier to
remember the words and how you feel
about them and how you could possibly
use them so hats off to mark Forsyth and
his book the horror logic on CoreLogic
on actually means a group of words
organized by the time of day and what
you’re likely to use them so it’s not
necessarily a new term in the sense that
all the parts existed but it is a new
term in the sense that you’re probably
not used to using it and this same thing
happens right with other words yeah I
think it was yesterday I used the word
Quin teneal right
it means years so Quin teneal we are
about to celebrate in the Quin
teneal year of the Mayflower landing on
Plymouth Rock on the Mayflower voyage
and won’t that be cool right so the
Mayflower in is years old so
we’re celebrating its Quinn Tenniel year
and maybe Quinta Neal’s not a very
popular word maybe I just invented it
but I did invent it using the pieces
that were already available right quint
meaning four and Tenniel meaning you
know hundred so hopefully I’ve done that
right and we’ll have to see this is how
language evolves and maybe if the word
becomes popular enough we’ll start to
see it in print enough and we’ll start
to see it end up in a dictionary and
then when it goes back to who invented
it maybe I’ll get the credit or maybe
it’s already out there and I haven’t
done the research but what about the
good folks over at the that make our
dictionaries be able to decide that I
love dictionaries this will not be the
last time that we talk about this
subject now one of the other subjects we
do like to talk about is what you’re
curious about how that curiosity has led
you into a path that has improved your
life and so if you’d like to be our
curiosity spotlight feel free to write
to us at parking thought on Twitter one
word or you can reach out to us by using
the hashtag curiosity spotlight on
Twitter we would love to highlight the
different roads where curiosity has led
you and yeah I make this pitch every
episode and yes I am talking to you
please
when you finish driving all right take
the time to write in to us and let us
know what you’ve been curious about and
that has impacted your life as we share
that with others it helps us appreciate
and understand how awesome and amazing
the world is and the people in it and
you are part of that story well let’s
wrap up this episode this is the part
where I tell you that the best way to
say thank you for this episode is to
share it with someone you know I’ll let
you decide who that is and I’ll bet you
know someone who’d love to be a part of
this conversation if you’re just joining
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where you can choose to be anything why
not choose to be grateful
[Music]