Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Love of Dictionaries

I must admit I am an avowed "dictionariaholic." It is not a word you will find in the dictionary -- I made it up for my condition -- I collect large, oversized, multiple volume dictionaries. I find endless pleasure opening up to a random page to find a new word.

I know writers who don't have dictionaries and rely on "Spellcheck." What they don't realise is: if the word is not spelled incorrectly, Spellcheck won't flag it. And, if you use the improper word, you are the one who looks idiotic.

So, here is a little writer's helper for those of you who may be writing fiction with a medical theme.

Diagnosis: the act of deciding, on the basis of analyzing symptoms, what disease is affecting the patient. It comes, like most medical language, from Greek, specifically from dia (between) and gignoskein (to know).

Prognosis: the prediction made by a physician of the course and probable termination of the disease. It has the same root as diagnosis, of course, and the prefix pro means "before." Thus a prognosis is a "knowing before" -- or prediction.

The next time you are out at a flea market or yard sale, look for a lovely old dictionary -- you just might get hooked.


  1. I'm right there with you, Claudia. I have a whole bookcase in my office devoted to dictionaries. I especially like the huge unabridged ones.

    Nice to know I'm not alone in this, shall we say, "uncommon" interest. :)

  2. Ted, I love the unabridged ones. They have so many words that are no longer in use. And, I just love reading about their origins. Some of the dictionaries even have a sample sentence using the word -- pretty sweet!

    Glad I'm not alone. ;)

  3. Claudia Dellaire: I was fascinated with your book, Egyptian Revenge Magic, but many people have written sensationalistic books just to boost their ego and get attention or make money off of trusting naive or innocent people. If an author wrote a pretentious or bogus book-that would be a very cruel, deceitful and evil thing to do. Life is not a damn joke and I hope your revenge book is not a joke either. So, my pointed question to you is-does Egyptian revenge magic really work AND can you give me some kind of proof of this? Slot of people are trusting you and are putting a lot of time and emotion into this.