This week’s edition is somewhat unique. As I was reading through my 1883 Webster’s Dictionary, I began noticing that quite a few definitions started the same way. They were not very descriptive at all, and all had the “a well-known” in the beginning. I studied further and found it was not as common as I first thought, but still quite humorous to me. I decided that this week we would have a “well-known” version of Dictionary Theatre. Take a look at the definitions this week and see how similar they truly are, and how ridiculously vague others are.
* 1883 pg 182
Monkey: n. a well-known animal having a tail
** 2003 pg 418
Monkey: n. 1. a primate having a flat, hairless face and a long tail. 2. loosely, another, similar primate, as a chimpanzee.
* 1883 pg 183
Mosquito: n. a well known biting gnat or fly
** 2003 pg 421
Mosquito: n. a two winged insect, the female of which sucks blood from animals, including humans
* 1883 pg 211
Potato: n. a well-known esculent root
** 2003 pg 504
Potato: n. 1. a starchy tuber of a widely cultivated plant, eaten as a cooked vegetable 2. this plant
* 1883 pg 247
Serpent: n. a well-known creeping reptile; a firework
** 2003 pg 586
Serpent: n. a snake
* 1883 pg 205
Pheasant: n. a well-known gallinaceous wild bird
** 2003 pg 483
Pheasant: n. a large game bird with a long, sweeping tail and brilliant feathers
* 1883 pg 183
Mouse: n. a small well-known animal
** 2003 pg 423
Mouse: n. 1. any of many small rodents, esp. a species that commonly infest buildings 2. a timid person 3. (slang) a black eye 4. a hand-held device for controlling the video display on a computer
* 1883 pg 279
Tomato: n. a well-known garden plant and its fruit
** 2003 pg 678
Tomato: n. 1. a red or yellowish fruit with a juicy pulp, used as a vegetable 2. the plant it grows on
* 1883 pg 257
Sparrow: n. a small well-known bird
** 2003 pg 618
Sparrow: n. any of numerous small, perching songbirds
Fill In the Blank
In _____ the Morse System of telegraphing was invented. He was travelling on his way home on a trip from France.
_______ is Morse’s first name.
In 1844 the first public telegraph was constructed. What was the distance it would cover? ______
In testing the telegraph in submarines in 1839, what type of wire was first tried and then later replaces with an iron wire? _____
Answers in order: 1832, Samuel, 40 miles, and copper.
* “American People’s Dictionary of the English Language and Peoples Manual”, copyright 1879 & 1883, by John Marshall Wood. Pgs.
** “Webster’s New World Dictionary”, copyright 2003 by Wiley Publishing, Inc.Pgs.