A lasting monument to the English language

This is an old column from The Alliance Review, one of several posts about reference books.

Woolgathering and Widdershins

Published March 30, 2004
It was a foggy London evening, Guy Fawkes Day 1857, when a group of gentlemen sowed the seeds of one of the great literary works of the English language.
The Philological Society met on Nov. 5 — the day the Catholic Fawkes tried to blow up the Parliament building in 1605 — to hear a speech by Richard Chenevix Trench. On that night, perhaps those men who gathered at the London Library, regarded as the finest private collection of books in the world, quietly celebrated the English way of life that was preserved in 1605 and which they hoped to mark, define and commemorate in an audacious project. Trench’s speech was titled “On Some Deficiencies In Our English Dictionaries” and was the genesis of the Oxford English Dictionary, the massive historical record of the English language.

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Posted in Language

A different moon for the movies

I keep noticing that the moon in movies is always full. Last night we watched a show where it was full in one scene and still full two weeks later. Someone should tell movie makers that the moon goes through phases and rises at sunset only when it is full. The full moon has good visual appeal, but I love those laser-thin slices just as much.

Posted in Science and Nature

Flat Luci Visits Schoenbrunn

img_4161 Flat Luci accompanied me to Schoenbrunn Village on Oct. 16 when I played music for the Colonial Trade Fair.
Schoenbrunn was founded by Moravian missionaries from Pennslyvania in the 1700s to convert Delaware Indians to Christianity. It has been rebuilt and is a historical site.
The fair is held every year on the third weekend of October, and I usually play for the fair, in the church.
The village is just south of New Philadelphia in Tuscarawas County, near the Tuscarawas River. That river rises near Hartville and flows west then south. It joines the Walhonding at Coshocton to form the Muskingum, which enters the Ohio at Marietta.

You can see my photos from last year’s fair on this blog at https://woolgatheringandwiddershins.wordpress.com/2015/10/19/schoenbrunn-village-colonial-faire/.


Posted in Flat Luci

Flat Luci Looks at Hats


Flat Luci accompanied me on Saturday, Oct. 22, to The Hatterie in Akron to buy my birthday hat. My friend Dale sent money from Lincoln, Nebraska for the hat.
Dale and I met in September 1972 in Canton Youth Symphony. We both played violin and were stand partners. Dale plays viola in an orchestra in Lincoln.
For my birthday I bought a steampunk top hat. It is black with funny decorations.
Steampunk is a type of science fiction set in the late 1800s, and many stories feature strange machines and robots using steam power. Robots, though, were called automatons because the word robot was invented in 1921 for a play.
A new word is called a neologism — neo means new, and logism comes from the Greek word logos, which means word. It’s called coining a word when you make up a new word.
I plan to wear my steampunk hat when I plays music of the 1800s, and perhaps I’ll wear it for Halloween, which will be over when you read this.
The Hatterie has been in business for about 100 years, and its slogan is “Kelly Crowns Them All.” The store was on South Main Street in downtown Akron until a few years ago.
I have worn unusual hats since I was in high school, and the first time I visited The Hatterie I didn’t know which way to look because the store had so many hats and caps.
I like hats of the 1700s, 1800s, and 1900s, and I like newsboy caps for regular wear. They are round and are divided into sections like a pie, and they get their name from boys who used to wear them while selling newspapers on city streets.
The Hatterie is owned by Dan Kelly, grandson of another Dan Kelly, who started the store and a hat factory in 1908. Dan will help you find a hat that looks good and fits well. When I bought my hat he made several adjustments until it fit just right.
The store is across the street from Chapel Hill Mall, on one of several high hills in Akron. The Cuyahoga River flows nearby, creating scenic views of the river valley from the area around the mall.

Posted in Flat Luci

Flat Luci Has a Violin Lesson

Flat Luci went with Uncle John today to Martin’s Violin in North Canton, where UJ gave a violin lesson to Julie Kennedy, who kindly allowed herself to be photographed. Julie studied scales, arpeggios, and Scottish fiddling.

Posted in Flat Luci

Flat Luci Makes New Friends

Flat Luci met Uncle John’s animals on Thursday, Oct. 12. Eutzly is a Nigerian Dwarf goat and is 14 years old, and he liked Luci a lot! Chesapeake is an orange and white short-hair cat with yellow eyes, and he had the typical cat attitude of “I don’t really care …”

Posted in Flat Luci

Flat Luci Gets Coffee

Flat Luci went with Uncle John to WellSpring Bible Church where UJ gave a music lesson. First they stopped at Oasis Books and Music across from the church; both are in Carnation City Mall in Alliance. The mall is on West State Street, and just west of there State Street dips down into the Beech Creek valley. Beech Creek rises in Washington Township south of Alliance and enters the Mahoning River near Alliance. The Mahoning flows east to Pennsylvania, where it joins the Shenango River to form the Beaver, which flows south to the Ohio River at Beaver Falls, Pa. Adriane’s great-great-great-grandpa Frederick Brandt settled near Beaver Falls with his parents in 1843 after emigrating from Germany. He served in the Civil War, bought a farm, built a house that still stands, and quarried rock. After he gave the music lesson, UJ went to Home Coffee, also in the mall.

Posted in Flat Luci