Augustine has his Confessions (the Pine-Coffin translation is the best), and I have mine.
I like paper reference books. I have both a robust thesaurus and a good, intermediate dictionary near my desk which I often consult. They are:
Most people don’t use references like these. If they do, they likely just Google what they want (or, perhaps, Bing it …). I don’t. I use these physical books. A lot. I have an online subscription to the Oxford English Dictionary through one of my seminaries, but I only consult it for deeper matters. For everyday work, I use these two references.
But, I was lamenting recently that my Merriam-Webster is just getting old. The last update was 2003. Now, of course, I can find anything I want online. the collegiate dictionary is updated at Merriam-Webster.com. But, you see, I don’t want to find it online. I want a physical book I can look at, open, and study.
What to do? I have a 2003 dictionary. Merriam-Webster is the last true lexicon left in America. It seemed I had little choice but to soldier on with my trusty Merriam-Webster Collegiate.
Then, it happened. I was looking for something in my thesaurus just today and noticed it was the Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus.
Then, I remembered that Oxford puts out a New Oxford American Dictionary (now in its 3rd edition). I hadn’t thought about it much, before. Now, I began thinking about it. I looked it up. Published 2010. Perhaps 33% more word entries than the good ‘ole Merriam-Webster. Larger. Newer. Better. It’s content culled from the two-billion word corpus that underlies the entire Oxford English Dictionary.
I decided I must have it. So, I bought it.
What’s my confession? Just that I bought a new dictionary and I’m happy about it.
That is all.