Somebody threw a dictionary in the trash. I picked it out. There are books I would leave in the trash, even books I would throw in the trash myself, but a dictionary is not a book I would throw away unless feral dogs had torn it to shreds, or it was soaking wet, or had otherwise been rendered unusable. I am steadfastly resolved to rescue a dictionary that is old, used, dog-eared, but otherwise perfectly usable. Why? I’m not sure, but I think it’s because dictionaries are treasuries of words. Throwing one in the trash seems like taking a great big shit on the mother tongue.

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