Sunday, September 30, 2012
Last week I had the chance to tour the Merriam-Webster building. The history of the firm is fascinating but too complex to retell here. Basically the Merriam family latched onto the legacy of dominant dictionary dude Noah Webster in the 1840's, and then succeeded over decades of tough competition to establish themselves as the foremost authorities on the English Language as it is spoken in America. Most of that history was spent at various locations in downtown Springfield, and currently they are located in this building on Rifle Street right by STCC.
It's a cool place. Here is the President of the company John M. Morse.
Here Editor at Large Pete Sokolowski shows us the work area where scholars slave over every little nuance of the usage of words. It's a gig that requires a lot of patience and attention to detail. It also looks like it could be a lot of fun to work there if your head is in the right place. Love of Language is the primary job requirement.
Here is Merriam-Webster's innermost inner-sanctum: The only complete collection in the world of every single version of the dictionary they have published over nearly two centuries.
Speaking of words, my old Local Buzz buddy Bill Peters was at Amherst Books Friday reading from his new novel. He lives in Florida now and when he left to move south he told me he intended to write a book. Now indeed he has, and I always get a kick out of seeing people's dreams come true.
Among those present for the reading was Greg Saulmon, Peter's former Local Buzz sidekick and currently with the Masslive/Republican.
Here are the Buzzboyz at the Haymarket in 2008:
My friend Luke Averill's new band made the cover of this week's Valley Advocate!
Here's a sample from a Northampton performance of why they won the Best New Band category: