Not that I was a ‘know it all’ (at least I hope I didn’t come off as one) but I knew how and where to find things out. That and an ability to remember bits and pieces of useless information.
I can still remember those stupid little placards that teachers put above the blackboard with grammar rules written on them…..’WHEN TWO VOWELS GO WALKING, THE FIRST ONE DOES THE TALKING.’ Illustrated with two vowels, written in cursive, holding hands.
I was the ‘go to’ person in the office for grammar advice…..considering I barely squeaked by in English class I was always surprised by this, but I did my best (and looked up my answers just to be sure!)
It’s not that I’m that so smart; I just know how to look things up. I thank my parents for that. At the time I wasn’t so thankful….I used to get annoyed when they’d tell me to ‘Look it up!” Especially when it came to spelling (which, BTW, I still suck at!) How do you look up how to spell a word when YOU DON’T KNOW HOW TO SPELL IT? My dictionary had a bazillion bookmarks for all the words I couldn’t spell! As a matter of fact, if you pick up my old grade school dictionary there is still a bookmark for SINCERELY!
Now we have GOOGLE.
Although I appreciate the instant gratification of Google I kind of miss perusing though the encyclopedia. I still remember looking something up but getting lost in the search and finding all sorts of interesting tidbits along the way.
I would invariably go to my parents and say, “Hey, did you know……” and tell them something I had read in volume “V” about venomous snakes while looking up Voltaire.
I was in a store the other day and someone was looking for a business online. She said, “What did we do before Google?” I replied, “It was called the Yellow Pages!” I got a few laughs but mostly blank stares from the younger people.
I lament the loss of immersing yourself in a mundane search through a reference book and finding little nuggets of gold that will stay locked in your brain forever. Giving you piles of fodder for conversations with total strangers while standing in line at the grocery store.......
I am rapidly becoming that weird old lady, dressed eccentrically with the oversized red frame glasses, that people warn their children to be wary of……….