Here at the Lonely Reference Library (LRL), I believe in the power of reference books to provide trustworthy information, correct errors, and generally set people straight (ourselves included).
I know, reference books have fallen out of favor these days. Fortunately, I couldn’t care less. Why? Several reasons, but the primary one is that, far too often, the web gets it wrong. This isn’t to say that our books are always right, just that they’re right more often than the web, and the answers they provide are usually more complete. Let’s face it: The web is a primarily visual medium. Disagree? Watch another cat video and think about it. On the web, text is a liability and that limits the amount of nuance the web can (and will) provide. Beyond that, the web is all about the now and the next, but when it comes to words, a little perspective is often necessary — and reference books do a better job of leaving a paper trail (pun intended) for would-be etymologists and lexicographers to follow. Beyond that, books are cooler and more interesting to peruse. (They just are. You know I’m right.)
Can you come and visit the Lonely Reference Library? No, but we will offer our services to anyone with a question about a word, phrase, symbol, or even something you seen in a dream. All you need to do is contact me and I’ll do my best to get you the information you need.
Don’t be shy. Do it!