One of my previous posts I mentioned that I had never seen the word bustrophredalian used anywhere besides my map cataloging class. I have now not only seen it used, I discovered why I could never find it anywhere else. The word is boustrophedon, and Jacobs uses it in his entry about the Etruscan alphabet: "Etruscans sometimes wrote boustrophedon style, in which the direction of writing alternates with each line - right-to-left, then left-to-right." A truly serendipitous event. Now that I have the correct spelling I checked the OED again, and it is there.
I am also glad to see that although I said Jacobs was more cynical than Shea, one thing he does not appear to be cynical about is his marriage. Ironically, this was one thing I pointed out that Shea was particularly cynical about. Jacobs loves and respects his wife which he makes clear in his ranting about Valentine's day (which he is cynical about, but I don't blame him for that).
I met my husband when I was 19 and he was 20, so I didn't know him when he was in Junior High and apparently annoying people with trivial facts. I have always considered this a good thing, as I probably wouldn't have wanted to ever know him well enough when he outgrew it to go out with him. Reading this book I sometimes feel that Jacobs is giving me a window into my husband's past.
Jacobs has a rather lenghty entry about encyclopedias, as does the Britannica itself. There is quite a history behind encyclopedias, and it is clear that they are not always without bias. I sometimes write encyclopedia articles and am glad to know that I can count myself among the lifes of Harry Houdini, Alfred Einstein, and Sigmund Freud. Of course these contributors actually wrote about things they were experts in. I sometimes must take a learn-about-the-subject-by-writing-about-it approach. My entries have been on topics as diverse as Banned Books Week, Prehistoric Culture, The Brady Bunch, and Columbus Day.