Friday, November 06, 2009

ode to pay

among the few books left in the library room where I am sitting right now is the 11th edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica (1911). I just love the slightly battered look of it, and the inadvertent poetry of its three-letter signposts on the spine, such as the "ode to pay":

Other examples include the boarding pass: EVA to FRA and the weapons commission: SUB to TOM. Oh, and if your mother gets ill, you'll need Vol. XVIII.: MED to MUM.

PS for an appreciation of the dramatic potential of full-word Britannica titles, type "Jirasek Lighthouses" into google, you'll find a piece by Alan Coren on google books. Thanks to Aidan for the hint.

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