Christy Stewart's Reviews > Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary by Merriam-Webster
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's review
Jan 26, 2011

did not like it
bookshelves: dictionary, nonfiction, reference
Read on January 26, 2011 — I own a copy

The most detrimental book in existence and Satanic by, ironically, definition.

Language is the most influential tool in mind control. Language is the external expression of reality as a personal paradigm and supplanting one’s language into another is to manipulate the person into experiencing only what you allow.

Looking up the definition of a word is like unto sitting in a mass being given in a language foreign to you and being denied the opportunity to experience the Bible yourself. It is dogmatic, outdated and laughable

The dictionary is the bible of the spineless communicator.

The most empowering moment one can experience is to use a word “incorrectly” in a sentence, be corrected, and not care. That is enlightenment. That is transcendence. That is the epitome of the phrase “ignorance is bliss” because ignorance is not the state of unknowing but of truly living the truth of your own reality (these concepts, truth and reality, obviously not being one in the same.)
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Lucy (new)

Lucy Clear language facilitates communication. Fully understanding words is impossible without definitions because most words would eventually take on a colloquial meaning. This post seems better suited to a rant blog than a review of a book.

message 2: by Eric (new)

Eric Hendrixson But are word meanings descriptive or prescriptive? The OED seems to take the descriptive approach. American dictionaries are often more prescriptive.

message 3: by Jordan (new) - added it

Jordan Feenstra I don't understand contempt of dictionaries. The only merit such derision would have is if you could meaningfully elaborate the exact difference between (a) gathering the meaning of words from experience and (b) referencing a dictionary.

More importantly, there's actually no such perceived authority in dictionaries but rather, contrarily, the capability of understanding (1) what some collective intends to mean/reference by some particular term, phrase, or symbol, (2) what you think, thought, or want such to mean/reference, and (3) what another individual or group is trying to communicate to you or others by the relevant term, phrase, or symbol; in this way, the facilitation of communication is so much easier than a world without collaborative definition. Hence, I don't understand the liberty or emancipation you, and others of this particular bent, see in the situation where you or another uses a word "incorrectly" (and, as must be pointed out, simply surrounding such with quotations doesn't save you from contradiction--all you've done is simply used a word which you, and most everyone in this particular linguistic collective, understands perfectly well, in the same way you would have used it without the use of parentheticals or quotations, thus definitively displaying a concrete counterexample to your argument) only to be corrected; that is, what is so empowering about the meaning or reference of the word you use for x and some slightly or completely different meaning or reference of what some collective uses for x? Is it really so oppressive in most cases? The argument could be made that vague but completely central terms or symbols (e.g., existence, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, political orientation) are tirelessly oppressive and promote atmospheres of progressive reification or sensationalism, and in this way, I will agree that petty definition is disgusting, dogmatic, laughable, and palpably annoying, but this has little to do with dictionary and linguistic perscriptivism, and the other various forms or means of oppression, and rather has much impetus, origin, or forces driving the intended or unintended oppression--here, the hypothetical origin being insensitivity, neglegence, and/or just plane stupidity.

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