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People who love dictionaries think for some reason the meaning of words are contained in the meanings of old words the new words evolved from.

"Now you see," someone who loves dictionaries might say, "the word 'understand' evolved from the Old English word that literally meant to 'stand in the midst of.' So, when one is understanding the meaning of something, they are doing much more than that - they are actually dwelling in the very essence of a state of being."

No they're not, but apparently people who love dictionaries think that knowing the history of a word is more relevant than knowing how that word is actually used.

People who love dictionaries are the same people who get excited when a few pop culture words get added to the dictionary every year, as if now those words officially exist because they are put in a book elementary school students are forced to read.

People who love dictionaries also like to open speeches with the definition of the word they are talking about.

"I'm here to talk about community," they might say. "But what do we mean when we talk about community? Well, Webster's dictionary defines it as 'a unified body of individuals in a commonwealth' or 'people with common interests living in a particular area.'"

All this does is confuse people who already knew what the word actually meant.

People who love dictionaries also often think they know much more about foreign languages than professional translators.

For instance, when I took a Latin class in college that I failed, there were students who thought that if they translated old Latin passages of the New Testament into English, they could be closer to the original Greek translation, and, therefore, understand the meaning of the original New Testament better.

I've never been to a Bible translating office, but I trust that whoever is doing the translating there understands the nuances of Greek better than I do.

Pastors are the worst about this. They're always telling their congregations the Greek or Hebrew words the English words in their Bibles were translated from and explaining that the only way to understand the real meaning of a verse in the Bible is to know the multiple definitions of an ancient word.

I don't know, maybe knowing why people love dictionaries is something I really need to take more time to stand in the midst of.


Chi Therapeutic Massage & Aesthetics, 755 N. Roop St., Suite 102, now hosts a hour-long sessions of relaxation, guided meditation and visualization Thursdays at 5:30 p.m. The cost is $5. Call Julie Schulz at 841-1774 for more information.


L. Lance Gilman Commercial Services announced that escrow has closed on a 10-acre site in the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center that the new owner said could include a service station, shops and possibly the area's first bank.


Vince Griffith purchased the parcel that has a prime location on the corner of Portofino and USA Parkway, the main thoroughfare through the massive industrial complex, for $1,083,555.


Northern Nevada Rebar has leased an additional 10,000 square feet of space in the Riverview One flex building in the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center owned by Vince Griffith's Reno Cattle Company

The flex building has six 5,000 square foot bays and Northern Nevada Rebar now occupies five of them. Triple A Carpet, which moved its operation out to TRI from Sparks, occupies the other one.


Joyce Newman, owner of the full-service personal property, antique and art appraisal firm Newman Appraisal Services in Reno, was recently appointed to the Fine Art standing committee of the International Society of Appraisers (ISA).

• Contact reporter Dave Frank at or 881-1212.


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