Dent found a copy of “Webster’s New International Dictionary of the English Language, Second Edition, Unabridged, An Entirely New Book Utilizing All The Experience And Resources Of More Than One Hundred Years Of Genuine Webster Dictionaries” published 1941, copyright 1934, 4-5 inches thick with lots illustrations.
On the front leaf, just inside the elegant red and gold marbled face pages, is this inscription, in a lovely handwritten script , the kind people used to cultivate before computers and word processors:
To insure better and more lasting arguments in the future the thought struck me that most of the language we would use undoubtedly would be somewhere in this volume, and in case you called me something that I didn’t understand I could look it up and see if I should get mad.
We can spend hours discussing the merits of the war and who is American or un-American or whether Great Britain should give up one of her islands, but after it is all over and peace reigns again there will still be a need for this little book as I think we will still be talking English in spite of Hitler.
There’s a good story there- no comment needed.