In search of story

January 12.22: Coping


How yellowed the page,

how heavy the book,

how delightfully free

of click-bait and hook.

Not a single commercial

intrudes on my search,

sending my thoughts

to spiral and lurch;

I keep to my hunt

for elusive right word

without the distraction

of the marketing herd.

No windows to shout

and peddle their wares,

no storming my brain

with visual fanfares,

just simple bland columns,

neat and precise,

of calm worded world

etymologically nice.


Yes, dear reader, I flip through these pages knowing full well that there are words right now for things unknown when these books were new. I turn to them, nonetheless, as I wage my own little war to think in a straight line, and not be pulled into impossible elliptical thinking by all the pop-ups.



17 thoughts on “January 12.22: Coping

  1. It is pleasant to view the options without the distractions. I admire the speed by which the online sources work, but eve3n without the ads, they are distracting with their links to words like the ones like the one you started with. By the time you’re done following, you might be in a different part of the language.

  2. I enjoyed the exchange between you and Dan. 🙂 The picture of the actual books really caught my eye. I carried a paperback dictionary and thesaurus through four years of high school, one year of business school, and a number of years achieving a BA as an adult, and there weren’t backpacks at that time. Now, we have cell phones, but as you note lots of pop ups and links trying to drag us around by the marketing crew on all the search engines. Those days were slower and simpler, and I’m probably showing my age again. 🙂 P.S. I had the lyrics wrong too. 🙂

    • It gets worse. I clicked on the YouTube link Dan sent and watched some sweet young thing made of jello dance to that song. Thus did I learn the story of Sloopy. Then, later today, I noted the announcement of Ronnie Spector’s death. I have no memory of her so I went back to YouTube to check out one of those songs. Nope, never heard it. Apparently I was as foggy then as I am now! The video of The Ronettes blew me away: women dressed in suits and high heels performing? And just a few years later there was jello girl. Once the times started a-changing, they REALLY changed! And here we are now with pop-up windows in our dictionaries. Beam me back, Scotty! Or beam me a manual for now!

  3. I’ve been singing the lyrics wrong all these years, too. You are not alone! And you’ve made me regret giving away my dictionary and thesaurus after empty promises from tricky technology.

    • I thank you for the comfort and the laugh. If someone as young as you messed up the lyrics, then I feel much better! I am very sorry to hear that you no longer have those books. Doorstops they may be, but there are times they seem like old friends who understand me.

  4. I asked my school friends how Opal Fruits could be singing ‘Fresh with the tang of sixpence’ after they had put the price up to more than sixpence and was told it was the tang of citrus. Did you know such things were called mondegreens? I’m waging my own little war to think in a straight line. At the moment every search result is combined with a flashing woolly hat advert. How can one be expected to think with hats floating around?

    • My sentiments exactly! How can one think with hats floating around? Well, one can’t! As for mondegreens, no, I do not think I know that word, and I thank you for it because I certainly have had experience with it. Just didn’t know it had a name! And what a weird word (don’t you love weird words?)! Citrus/sixpence — a perfectly understandable slip of the ear.

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