I’ve been tagged. For the first time ever. With not one, but two literary memes. Thanks to Christianne at Lilies Have Dreams for inviting me to talk about books.
I’ll go ahead with the first. Unfortunately, my honest answers are rather boring. Which makes me glad I get a second chance with the second meme. You may not find my answers to the second one particularly non-boring, but at least I think they are more interesting to write about.
Here are the rules of the first meme:
1) Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).
2) Open the book to page 123.
3) Find the fifth sentence.
4) Post the next three sentences.
5) Tag five people.
Here is the part of my desk directly in front of me, covered with books and papers (the desk/shelf to my left looks pretty much the same):
There are many books nearby. A science book. A language arts workbook. My NLT Bible. A child’s book about Abraham Lincoln, written from the perspective of his son. All of those books are on the desk to my left. In front of me is a child’s historical novel about Florence Nightingale. An American Association of Retired Persons magazine (which I’m keeping for a post I may write someday about regret). Scuffy the Tugboat and Richard Scarry’s Storybook Dictionary. Those are here because my five-year-old sometimes likes to sit on my lap and look at books while I do my medical transcription work. Don’t ask me why there is a flowered hot mitt on my desk. I must have been cooking and wandered in here to check my email. Or my son could have been cleaning up the kitchen and gotten distracted (it runs in the family).
And then, finally, there are a few books over 123 pages: Two directories of all the doctors in the area surrounding where the doctors I type for are (which is 900 miles from where I live). A drug reference manual. A medical dictionary. And a biography about a man whose work fascinates me, but whose biography is hard to keep making my way through. Now that I’ve given the book such a poor recommendation, I don’t want to quote from it and tell you what book it is I find so boring. So, I’ll quote from my dictionary, which I sometimes find extremely interesting (for example, when I come across carrot and wonder why it is in a medical dictionary, only to discover that “its seed is diuretic and stimulant”.) I’ll find the fifth definition entry on page 123 and then post the next three.
Arthrobotrys–a genus of imperfect fungi of the family Moniliaceae, order Moniliales, some of which infect and destroy nematodes
arthrocace–caries of a joint
arthrocele–a swollen joint
There now, don’t you feel enlightened? I didn’t know you could get cavities or bone decay anywhere except your teeth. And I also didn’t know that there were perfect fungi, but there must be if it’s worth giving a name to the imperfect type. This browsing through the dictionary on my desk has reminded me that, when we lived in Africa, my two oldest children (one of who was newly literate and the other still very much pre-literate at the time) loved to look through and read from Where There is No Doctor. Lingamish has said this, concerning being a book lover in a remote part of a non-English speaking country: “I have no money. No libraries. No bookstores. So all my books are old, borrowed or stolen.” I suppose that explains why my children found a medical book so fascinating at the time.
As a follow up to my last post, in which I asked for help in remembering the difference between disc and disk, what I have discovered is that there is very little agreement, even between medical dictionaries on the correct spelling. The discs/disks in your spine are spelled both ways, depending on who you ask. Diskos is the Greek. Discus is the Latin. Medical terminology is Latin-based, so, the reasoning goes, we should spell discs in the body with a “c”. Unfortunately, the doctors I work for use a different logic (or possibly just a different dictionary), so I’ve got to remember to spell it with a “k”. The route my brain will have to go is to first think of what seems most logical to me, and then type the other spelling.
A page from the University of Auckland’s website informs me that the difference in computers is this: floppy disks, which were developed in America are spelled the American way. Compact discs, developed in Europe, have the European spelling.
Enough dictionary rambling. I’m curious about the nearest book on other people’s desks. I’ve enjoyed reading various people’s responses, and now I’m tagging some bloggers I read, whose answers to the above meme I do not think I have seen yet:
(I know, I know. I can count, and that’s six, not five.)
I’m not into putting pressure on people. In the past, that probably would have kept me from tagging anybody else. Today I’m in the mood to say, “I’m tagging you, but there is no implied pressure, if (a) you’re not in the mood (b) you boycott tags and memes (c) tags and memes don’t really fit your personality or that of your blog or (d) some other reason I haven’t thought of 🙂 ”
I’d love to see a selection from the book nearest to you right now, but even if I never do, I continue to look forward to all the other interesting things on your blogs. You all make me think and feel in a wonderful variety of ways.