The other day at the local library, I was standing next to a copy of the Oxford English Dictionary, as I am wont to do, sneaking drags off unfiltered Gitanes and trying simultaneously to look pained, intriguing, and authoritative. Another presumed lover of language, also standing next to the dictionary, suddenly turned and asked me to define a word for him. The word itself is not important. Puzzled and flustered — nay, incredulous — I replied, "Why don't you look it up? You're standing right next to a dictionary!"