“Look it up!”

I sometimes get sick of looking it up. I’ve been looking it up for nearly 50 years. Every time I asked a question, Mom or Aunt Agnes would say, “Look it up.”

“How do you spell cat?” “Who’s Twiggy?” “Where is Vietnam?” Totally different questions, same darn answer.

“Look it up.”

I remember arguing that we could not look up a word in the dictionary if we did not know how to spell it! Then we would get a lesson in phonetics.

But now I bless my mom. Did I mention she used to proofread for Merriam-Webster? Mom had a lecture ready every time I used ‘lay’ or ‘lie’ incorrectly. My Aunt Agnes creamed all comers in Scrabble. She could do the New York Times crossword puzzle in pen, usually in a day.

So now when I wonder about punctuation or grammar or where is some obscure river, I look it up.

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