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The Benefits Of Home Libraries

Preparing Bible Studies and sermons on the book of Ecclesiastes, verse 12 in chapter 12 that kept echoing: “Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh.”
Now, I own a few books.
I’ve already posted a quote from a new one that arrived today.
So this report about the benefits of growing up in a home with books salves my conscience.
(Not that it needed much salving, admittedly.)

From a report at PacificStandard:

The results suggest those volumes made a long-term difference. “Growing up with home libraries boosts adult skills in these areas beyond the benefits accrued from parental education, or [one’s] own educational or occupational attainment,” the researchers report.
Not surprisingly, the biggest impact was on reading ability. “The total effects of home library size on literacy are large everywhere,” the researchers report.Growing up with few books in the house was associated with below-average literacy rates, while he presence of around 80 books raised those rates to the mean. Literacy continued to increase with the number of reported books up to around 350, at which point it flattened out.
Similarly, the effects of a home library on numeracy were quite significant across the board. Its impact on technological skills was smaller but also widespread.

Read the whole post here.

If you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a book to get back to.


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300 New Scrabble Words

There are reports that Merriam-Webster who produce the official dictionary for Scrabble have released an updated edition with 300 words added.
Some of those words are featured here at this post on the Merriam-Webster website.
Probably the biggest news is that ‘OK’ is now on the approved list.
If you’re not happy about that you could say ‘ew’ or make a ‘frowny’ face, because they’re both there as well.
Scrabble purists will celebrate new words, the rest of us will lament the disintegration of English language.
Cue: zomboid, twerk, sheeple, wayback, botnet, emoji, facepalm, puggle and nubber.


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Twenty-Five Words Being Added To Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary In 2018

For a change this list of words being added to Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary in 2018 not only contains words I know, but even a few that I’m surprised aren’t already there.

Some abbreviations: guac, fave.
Some tech words: force quit, predictive.
Some geek words: adorbs, TL;DR.

And more.

Read the list at Mental Floss.


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What If English Pronunciation Was Phonetically Consistent

This effort at standardising English pronunciation is surprisingly understandable.
It also provides an interesting progression in accent as the process develops.


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Fifty Collective Nouns For Groups Of Animals (via Mental Floss)

It’s always fun to keep up with collective nouns for groups of different animals.
This article from Mental Floss has some I’d not heard of.
A walk of snails (or an escargatoire)
A coterie of prairie dogs.
A bale of turtles.
A wisdom of wombats.
Among others.
Some sound made up, but the ones I did know were legitimate, so I guess they’re all good.
Check out how many you knew.


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Colporteur

I’m reading Meredith Lake’s fascinating ‘cultural history’ The Bible In Australia.
I can’t recall ever encountering the word ‘colporteur’ before, but Lake in referring to the activity of agents of a variety of societies that were dedicated to the distribution of Bibles and religious literature uses the label Colporteur.

A variety of online dictionaries define a Colporteur as:

  • a person who travels to sell or publicize Bibles, religious tracts, etc.
  • a peddler of books.

This reminds me of Big Dan Teague, the morally compromised Bible salesman from O Brother, Where Art Thou.


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Eighteenth Century Insults (via Mental Floss)

I don’t recommend using any of these.
It’s simply for information’s sake if anyone calls you any of these it’s not good.
From Mental Floss.
A sample:

Death’s Head Upon A Mop-Stick
Gollum-us
Shabbaroon
Unlicked Cub

(My text correct, just had a party with all that)

See the definitions and twenty one more here.