Friday, April 13, 2007

The True Love of My Life, Part II

(Linguistic Porn)

In my last relationship, I was repeatedly unfaithful. You see, while my partner provided anything and everything that could be expected of another human being, I still found a bottomless need that he could not fulfill; an insatiable lust that none of his machinations could satisfy; a longing and a love that were not his to address.

I speak, of course, of my love for the Oxford English Dictionary.

We fought and fought over my obsession with the OED, but I kept going back. Every time, I would finish and say to myself: "Harley, you are in a monogomous, loving relationship. You've got to stop this reckless selfishness! Someone's going to get hurt."

But I couldn't help myself. The OED always had what I needed and more, without my asking. It was always there, day and night. And when we were done and I had gotten what I needed, the OED did not turn off immediately, but waited patiently to see if there was anything else I desired, perhaps an etymology or a date chart.

I'm glad that Annie copped to her love of The Washington Post (which I also share) because it frees me to finally make this confession and get the burden of this secret off my chest.

Thank you, Annie, because now I'm free:
I truly love the OED.


Anonymous said...

Oh, no, you mean the OED has been cheating on me?? Never mind... I have the compact, so I think we're ok. (with the most fabulous blingy accessory in the world - the fist-sized magnifying glass...)

Anonymous said...

Oh thank god, I always thought I was the only one. I used to use the excuse that I just needed the OED for my academic work, it was a tool. But I can't keep pretending, especially when I spend upwards of two hours on the website every time I need to look up the etymology and first usage of a single word. If I ever finish my PhD and they take away my free academic access to the OED site, I don't know what I will do. Can we start a support group? If someone else brings chips and salsa, I'll bring my list of every word in the OED that comes from yiddish. (There are 135 of them.)