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03 December 2007

Go Look It Up!

"The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary."

- Donald Kendall

I like quotes. Runs in the family I think. My mother, my father, my brother...all wordsmiths. When I was old enough to know my ABC's, whenever I asked my mother how to spell something....I was told (you know already this don't you?): "Go Look It Up!" And there started the source of my perverted approach to logic.

Say it together now: "If I don't know how to spell it...how in the Sam Hill am I gonna know how to look it up?"

So there I was, a little kid on a sunny, Saturday afternoon toiling away for hours trying to find pterodactyl in the dictionary. Where was Child Protective Services when I needed them?!? The original exercise in futility for sure. And one that I couldn't wait to pass along to Emily.

When Emily turned 9, the coup d'√Čtat of her holiday gifts ended up being a fancy new Websters Collegiate dictionary. Boy was I excited. And boy was she miffed. A dictionary? For Christmas? I thought it was better than some of my previous gifts at least. Tonya could only shrug and snicker.

Emily has begun to appreciate my liking for quotes a little more eagerly than my liking for words. After all, there is something a little mystical about another person's words. As a parent of a 'tween, I learned this the hard way.

Me saying to her, in the face of defeat, "get over it and move on!" never buoyed her soul or lifted her spirits quite like "Success comes not in never falling but in rising every time we do fall" (Confucius). See what I mean?

Nowadays she latches on to and repeats a good quote like, well,

"a duck on a June bug" -Anonymous

3 comments:

Troy said...

I'm pretty sure that "A duck on a june bug" was a quote from the honorable Sheriff Rosco P. Coletrane.

Nice to see you in the blogosphere and glad to hear that you are all doing well.

Troy

Mom said...

...and Mom says, "Go look up the quote and find the source." I heard it from the woman who used to clean my Texas grandfather's house way back in the long, distant past.

Michael M. said...

As in "Boss Hogg was on me like a duck on a June Bug"? Sounds good to me! Way to go TK!