Notes and Other Extensions on Readings in the Encyclopedia Brittanica.
A - By 7th grade I was already enjoying reading our household's encyclopedia - both the lightweight World Book Encyclopedia as well as my grandfather's old Encyclopedia Brittanica (which would be a curious twist, if it was the same edition as emerges here). Anyway, for a 7th grade essay supposed to be about the "first" something, I drafted a story dreaming about matching up the first boat with first journeys into literature via the alphabet, and wrote it entirely using the Phoenician parallels to our own letters (as near as I could manage) to write out the English words of my composition. Hokey, yes, but demonstrating my own interest in the voyages I saw ahead. (And one of many such essays that made me an enemy of the other students in my classes.)
Aardvark - Blasted into my personal awareness via Peter Dabback's high school poem: "Aardvark! Aardvark! Animal of the land!...." And then of course we had the hapless blue aardvark on the Pink Panther's cartoon show. Labombarde (talk) 02:03, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
Aaron's Rod - Means nothing in particular to me, unless I reach back to liking goldenrod during childhood. Other than that, this was the encyclopedia entry I made it up to before realizing I would want to have this subpage for these notes. The Biblical references in the E.B. clip are Ex 7:10 and Num 17:9. Labombarde (talk) 02:21, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
Abacus - An abacus was included in the Math Kit I received for Christmas my 5th grade year. Of course I never attained the skill required of oriental students, but I did learn to perform basic calculations reasonably well on the device. Labombarde (talk) 03:30, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Aberration - "(Lat. ab, from or away, errare, to wander), a deviation or wandering, especially used in the figurative sense: as in ethics, a deviation from the truth...." Labombarde (talk) 23:45, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
Absinthe - Kelly gave me a bottle of absinthe for my most recent birthday, and I've found it goes rather well in coffee or espresso. Labombarde (talk) 00:00, 27 November 2009 (UTC) I had originally taken an interest in absinthe when including wormwood among the herbs I used for my tea during the mid-80s.
Absolute - Although I consider myself somewhat rare insofar as I do believe there to be certain absolutes, I also believe the term to be used rather too loosely these days. Labombarde (talk) 18:45, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
Absolutism - "in aesthetics, a term applied to the theory that beauty is an objective attribute of things, not merely a subjective feeling of pleasure in him who perceives. It follows that there is an absolute standard of the beautiful by which all objects can be judged." Labombarde (talk) 18:47, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
Abstemii - "(a Latin word, from abs, away from, temetum, intoxicating liquor, from which is derived the English "abstemious" or temperate), a name formerly given to such persons as could not partake of the cup of the Eucharist on account of their natural aversion to wine." Labombarde (talk) 18:50, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
Abstraction - "(Lat. abs and trahere), the process or result of drawing away; that which is drawn away, separated or derived. Thus the noun is used for a summary, compendium or epitome of a larger work, the gist of which is given in a concentrated form. Similarly an absent-minded man is said to be "abstracted," as paying no attention to the matter in hand." Labombarde (talk) 18:52, 27 November 2009 (UTC)