Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.
“Books aren’t people. You read and I look all around, but there isn’t anybody!” (Bradbury 67) Books are certainly not people but books can change and morph countless things about a person. Books of every sort have the power to change the way you think; however there is one book whose value surpasses them all. If were as a society were in a situation where books were being banned or destroyed, the dictionary should be the one book preserved for posterity. Saving the Dictionary from complete extinction would be beneficial to everyone for various reasons: it is the etymological record of every word spoken, it is a living document that records how language has changed over time, and without it every other published work of literature would be devoid of significant measure of linguistic meaning.
We speak, everyone does it in their own way. Every language speaks. There are so many ways books make an impact on the lives of human. Dictionaries were first written, in a non alphabetical order and were a compilation of word lists that were later published for the use of the public. This creation prompted more intellectual textbooks to be written and the process of spelling was broken down and was made a much easier task to complete. As the large variation of books have not always been appreciated, there comes a time and place for it to happen. We may not use a hard, printed copies of the dictionary very often anymore, there are many digital copies and apps that we have access to on cell phones. Without it, we would not understand what numerous words really mean, the pronunciation, or where they originated from. Using the dictionary to understand where words derived from evinces the richness of our linguistic heritage and the transitive nature of spoken words which Have been in a constant state of evolution which predates the decision to create a record of them. “…language is not, as we are led to suppose by the dictionary, the invention of academicians or philologists. Rather, it has been evolved through time…by peasants, by fishermen, by hunters, by riders.” (Jorge Luis Borges, This Craft of Verse)
All languages that exist have changed as different time periods and eras come and go. For instance, people alive during Shakespearean Era spoke a much different form of English then we do today. “O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?” Words like wherefore, art (as in the term for ‘are’ in old english) or thou are not used in the present day, but we have words such as “mantrum” and “blog” which are both very commonly used words in the 21st century. As time marches forward, new words are created and the meanings of words change. The dictionary helps us track what words come in and out of each centennial and it helps us understand what each period of time had to offer in terms of literature. Without using resources such as the dictionary and using that to understand where our words came from, almost every other piece of literature would be of no use. The only way to successfully write anything is to truly understand what you are writing with.
If you do not know what the words of literature are saying deep down, you don’t have a true understanding of linguistics. “Complacencies of the peignoir, and late…Coffee and oranges in a sunny chair” (Sunday Morning, Wallace Stevens) Most people would have no idea what this sentence is saying until they look up the words “Complacencies” and “Peignoir”. After looking them up you come to see that peignoir is a fancy silk nightgown and complacencies is a feeling of quiet pleasure or security. The dictionary is one of the very few tools left to help us truly wrap our heads around what each word and sentence is saying on another level that the human mind alone cannot fully understand on its own. Books help to stimulate the mind and further advance the thinking process and make people overall more smarter. Not only will it make you more smart on paper, you will also view the world completely different than you would have previously. In a world filled with electronics and everything being completely digital, it is extremely difficult for people to put their minds on paper rather than on social media. “Social to me means talking to you about things like this”. “But I don’t think it’s social to get a bunch of people together, and then not let them talk, do you?” (Bradbury 29)
The dictionary helps humanity keep track of the words that have been spoken by people all over the world, it helps identify how each and every language has developed and come to what it is to be today, and lastly, without it we as people would not understand what any writing is saying and or proving to the reader. The dictionary is one of the most useful tools created by humans and this is the overall reason this book should be saved from complete demolition.