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Old 03-05-2013, 03:27 AM   #166
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I went from newsaggregators back to reading the International Herald Tribune, but still in digital form. The aggregators either give you an experience that is too narrowly focused on certain fields of interest or you are being overwhelmed with with articles, most of which are not really very interesting.
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Old 03-05-2013, 04:02 AM   #167
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I was reading a novel this morning and encountered the term, "Lord Woolton's Pie." I was curious so I got on the internet and typed in the phrase for Google. Bingo. Then I considered what I would have done in 1955 to find out what the phrase meant and what my likelihood of success would have been. My answer didn't involve the library. I would have contacted my dear friend, Noreen, who went through the Blitz in London. She would have probably known. But, at the library, I don't know where I would have started.
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Old 03-05-2013, 04:16 AM   #168
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Originally Posted by patrickt View Post
I was reading a novel this morning and encountered the term, "Lord Woolton's Pie." I was curious so I got on the internet and typed in the phrase for Google. Bingo. Then I considered what I would have done in 1955 to find out what the phrase meant and what my likelihood of success would have been. My answer didn't involve the library. I would have contacted my dear friend, Noreen, who went through the Blitz in London. She would have probably known. But, at the library, I don't know where I would have started.
You probably could have done exactly the same "at the library" where they provide a PC and internet access for free.

The internet compliments libraries, it doesn't make it superfluous
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Old 03-05-2013, 07:23 AM   #169
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Originally Posted by danskmacabre View Post
You probably could have done exactly the same "at the library" where they provide a PC and internet access for free.

The internet compliments libraries, it doesn't make it superfluous
I think the key phrase there was "in 1955."

I would stop at the information desk at the library and ask for help. Librarians that I've met are generally knowledgeable about books and information, and are experts in finding what you're looking for. Sure, you might not find your answer to that question, but I'm willing to bet that a librarian would have been willing to spend the time to help you. A key source for those of us without a Noreen in our lives...
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Old 03-05-2013, 08:08 AM   #170
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I am not in any way knocking the new libraries. They do not resemble the libraries of 50 years ago, though, as the post about going to a PC in a library in 1955 illustrates. Perhaps the discussion in the original post was about traditional, nostalgic, libraries.\

Take a look at the other thread on "Reading Rooms" and think that now you don't have to have books in your "reading room". You don't even have to have a room. You just read.

Last edited by patrickt; 03-05-2013 at 08:16 AM.
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:09 PM   #171
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I think the key phrase there was "in 1955."

I would stop at the information desk at the library and ask for help. Librarians that I've met are generally knowledgeable about books and information, and are experts in finding what you're looking for. Sure, you might not find your answer to that question, but I'm willing to bet that a librarian would have been willing to spend the time to help you. A key source for those of us without a Noreen in our lives...
I don't know about 1955, but in 1975 people would commonly call the reference desk (from home) with questions like that...and if you were in the library, you would always see a reference librarian on the phone with someone, answering a question. You didn't get a wikipedia length answer, of course - but if you wanted to know when the battle of Jena was fought and who won, they would tell you that over the phone.
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:39 PM   #172
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickt View Post
I was reading a novel this morning and encountered the term, "Lord Woolton's Pie." I was curious so I got on the internet and typed in the phrase for Google. Bingo. Then I considered what I would have done in 1955 to find out what the phrase meant and what my likelihood of success would have been. My answer didn't involve the library. I would have contacted my dear friend, Noreen, who went through the Blitz in London. She would have probably known. But, at the library, I don't know where I would have started.
You got me curious as to what it is and I found the following:
Lord Woolton's Pie
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Old 03-06-2013, 10:03 PM   #173
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Originally Posted by crich70 View Post
You got me curious as to what it is and I found the following:
Lord Woolton's Pie
It says the pie wasn't popular, but it sounds yummy to me. Kind of like a vegetarian Shepherd's Pie.
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Old 03-06-2013, 10:39 PM   #174
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Sregener is quite right about asking the librarian about Lord Woolton's Pie. If I had been the librarian in 1955, I would have walked over to the shelf and pulled down Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (originally published in 1870 -latest revision 2012).

When I checked the Amazon.com entry, I "looked inside" and found Woolton Pie right between Wool and Woolworth!
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:44 AM   #175
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Libraries have always been a fountain of information and librarians the same. They still have the skill and knowledge to direct people to find the information that they seek. That, in and of itself, is worthwhile.
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Old 03-07-2013, 12:05 PM   #176
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Originally Posted by patrickt View Post
I was reading a novel this morning and encountered the term, "Lord Woolton's Pie." I was curious so I got on the internet and typed in the phrase for Google. Bingo. Then I considered what I would have done in 1955 to find out what the phrase meant and what my likelihood of success would have been. My answer didn't involve the library. I would have contacted my dear friend, Noreen, who went through the Blitz in London. She would have probably known. But, at the library, I don't know where I would have started.
I must ask, how old is this novel? If it was written in the 1950's, it may have been a cultural reference that most readers would have been familiar with. I think it's an important point because you'll run into cultural references in modern literature, but you may choose to learn about it by means other than Google (e.g. family and friends).

Then there are reference librarians and old fashioned books, as others have pointed out.
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Old 03-08-2013, 10:54 AM   #177
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I must ask, how old is this novel? If it was written in the 1950's, it may have been a cultural reference that most readers would have been familiar with. I think it's an important point because you'll run into cultural references in modern literature, but you may choose to learn about it by means other than Google (e.g. family and friends).
Absolutely. One classic example (no pun intended) is this sentence I came across in a detective story recently:

Quote:
Like Gaul, the large picture window behind the drapes was divided into three parts...
50 years ago, the reference to "Gaul" would have been instantly understandable to any reader. Today I suspect that I'm in a minority in understanding it. Anyone care to explain it?
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Old 03-08-2013, 11:26 AM   #178
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50 years ago, the reference to "Gaul" would have been instantly understandable to any reader. Today I suspect that I'm in a minority in understanding it. Anyone care to explain it?
I get the reference to Gaul, but you have to fudge a bit to get to three parts, I think.

I'd say it's either two (Gallia Cisalpina & G. Transalpina) or more than three: G. Transpadana, G. Cispadana, G. Narbonensis (aka 'Provincia Romana', the modern Provence) & G. Comata (pretty much everything else south to the Pyrenees and north to the Rhine)

You could split G. Comata even further into G. Belgica, G. Aquitania & G. Lugdunensis, getting up to 6

The only way to get to 3 that makes some sense is G. Cisalpina, G. Narbonensis/Provincia Romana & G. Comata.

Or am I overthinking this?
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Old 03-08-2013, 11:36 AM   #179
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I get the reference to Gaul, but you have to fudge a bit to get to three parts, I think.

I'd say it's either two (Gallia Cisalpina & G. Transalpina) or more than three: G. Transpadana, G. Cispadana, G. Narbonensis (aka 'Provincia Romana', the modern Provence) & G. Comata (pretty much everything else south to the Pyrenees and north to the Rhine)

You could split G. Comata even further into G. Belgica, G. Aquitania & G. Lugdunensis, getting up to 6

The only way to get to 3 that makes some sense is G. Cisalpina, G. Narbonensis/Provincia Romana & G. Comata.

Or am I overthinking this?
You're on the right track.

In the days when Latin was taught as a standard school subject, a book which virtually everyone would have been familiar with was Julius Caesar's "Gallic Wars" - it was THE standard text. The first line of the book is:

Quote:
Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres...
or:

Quote:
The whole of Gaul is divided into three parts...
which is the reference that this detective story is making in saying that like Gaul, the window was divided into three parts. It's a reference which would be completely lost to most modern readers.
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Old 03-08-2013, 11:45 AM   #180
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C'mon. Gaul was divided into four parts. Anyone who says different needs to talk to the gentleman below.

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