My high school English teacher, the aforementioned T. David, had a pocket-sized edition of the Oxford English Dictionary that he claimed to have with him at all times. He said it was very helpful when he came across a new word while reading. He was so fond of his tiny OED that one of the first homework assignments he gave us was to buy a pocket-sized dictionary of our very own which was to be deposited in our respective backpacks. (Mine stayed in my backpack for at least a decade. It’s currently somewhere in my office.)
At the time, the whole thing felt like some dumb thing our weird teacher made us do. Who needs to carry a dictionary around at all times? It turns out that I do. Granted, my dictionary now comes in the shape of an app on my phone, but it’s an app I use all the time. All the time. Like today, when I looked at the word “currency” on the rec I was working on and became convinced that it was spelled incorrectly. A few quick taps on my phone assured me that it was correct and I stopped worrying about it.
It’s so strange to look back and realize that your weird high school English teacher was right about something, but it happens.