Romance of the Dictionary

Oops! Pressed the button on my iPhone and took this pic as I put my phone away. #accidentalphoto

A post shared by Michelle Zacharias (@misheru32) on

After doing some errands, I stopped for lunch at a cafe that was trying to be Scandinavian in style. Remember that this is Japan, so other countries blur together in one mass of delicious foreignness in many cases. Books on Scandinavian style in Japanese were displayed with random books in Swedish as well as old books in English that were selected to match the decor.
I LOVE BOOKS! Any old book will send chills down my spine. Even more when It feels like I have discovered a secret treasure trove that only I will want to or have the ability to read over lunch. It was impossible to choose just one, so I found three.

Mary Stewart does write a good thriller but the Waverly Children’s Dictionary kept me entranced with its essays, photos, and descriptions from a bygone era. Their choice of examples or the contrasts between choices struck my funny bones, and I started posting my own memes using Overgram to type text on Instagram and Facebook. If it is good enough for Barbara Kruger, it is good enough for me. The title of an essay in one book became a tag for several photos.
At first the contrast between historic meaning and contemporary use struck my fancy.

Then I was amused by the odd examples shown in the photographs.

Secondary meanings could also be used to create political meaning.

Male/female roles varied greatly at different stages of the dictionary’s development in society.

If you like these and want to see more of what kind of visual trouble I can get into, you are welcome to follow me at Instagram where my name is Misheru32.

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