The Definition of…

One of the perks of working from home is that when you have a sick kid, you don’t have to call in sick to work yourself. All I have to do is check on my baby every once in a while to see if I can bring more crackers or water, take a five-minute break to hold hair when they lean over the toilet bowl, or install them on the couch across from me to keep an eye on them. Of course, that messes with extracurriculars, but we all need a break sometimes. Worse, it messes with sleep though.

And after two nights in a row up with an ill kid, my brain is feeling mushy. Last night, after tucking T back into bed, I returned to my room, only to have my brain think about the tasks for the following day. It tossed around ideas for blog posts (how industrious at 5:30 am!), which led to other questions to ponder. Not really what I should be doing at that hour, but it seems I have little say when the grey matter takes over. We’ve all been there though, right?

The big debate was the difference between a glossary and a dictionary. I recently completed a weekly alphabetical list of terms related to a client’s industry, and thought perhaps I could turn that list into a blog post. The question that arose around about 6 am was whether I should define it as a glossary or dictionary. Apparently, there was no shushing my thoughts back to sleep. Deep questions that I had to know! So now it’s time to solve the mystery, so that I can squeeze in a nap this afternoon.

Glossary – A list of technical or special words with their definitions

Dictionary – A book that lists and explains the words of a language or a particular subject, or that gives their equivalents in another language, usually in alphabetical order

Hmm, just as I thought. They are kind of the same thing. My paperback Oxford Dictionary kind of failed me. But really, I think I will go with glossary, as the terms are specialized and technical to the industry. Checking other online sources, glossaries are further described as defining difficult or unusual words, and usually found at the end of a book. Versus a dictionary is usually more generalized, includes meaning, etymology, pronunciation, synonyms, and sometimes other information depending upon the tome. So a glossary, is a specialized dictionary then.

I am tired of this tiresome debate. The things that writers contemplate at night…

I wish my brain could have let that little war go last night, as it’s a fairly simple definition. Jeesh! Glossary it is. Now to tackle it!


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