Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Thanks to the library

I wanted to determine the age of our piano from its serial number. The Internet? Useless, at least for our piano. But my university’s library had the answer, in the Pierce Piano Atlas (1965): 1908.

And now that I was in the library, I thought to look up the ghost word dord and see it in print for myself. The word was right there in the reference stacks, in the second edition of Webster’s New International Dictionary (1934):

[A real ghost: dord & co.]

Emily Brewster, Merriam-Webster lexicographer, tells the story of dord in a short video. So yes, back to the Internet. But sometimes only the library will do.


April 24, 2020: Merriam-Webster now has an illustrated history of dord.

Related reading
All OCA dictionary posts (Pinboard)

[Our piano is a Beckwith Empire Upright. (It looks like this one). Ours is unrestored but stays in tune (for a good long while) and plays beautifully. It was a lucky addition to our household, acquired for the cost of moving. The movers said it was the heaviest piano they had ever handled. It’s possible to see a photograph of the dord entry online, but the thing itself is found only on paper.]

comments: 5

Geo-B said...

The heaviest piano they had ever handled? Sounds like a musical instrument of great dord.

Michael Leddy said...

Very nice! But this piano is measured by weight, not by dord. :)

John Beddall said...

Hello Michael, lovely instrument. I was wondering how the wood grain complimented the pillars and moldings?
"My, your classical embellishments are really fine." Or, "Who does your polishing? Your patina is looking better than ever!"
Just saying.
John Bresson Beddall

Michael Leddy said...

Thank you, but I’d better revise to clarify. The piano in the photographs is not ours. That’s why I noted that ours is unrestored and cost us nothing. No $13,000 piano for us.

I appreciate the humor in your compliments. :)

Michael Leddy said...

Aack! I just noticed the misspelling on the piano shop’s webpage. Now I have a greater appreciation of the compliments.