Thursday, January 17, 2013

A Quickie! How by Becoming Addicted to the Internet, I'm Betraying My Roots!

       Over on my other blog, The Labors of Ki'shto'ba Huge-Head, I'm in the process of writing the first on a series of posts on Evangeline Walton's Mabinogion Tetralogy.  I'm working right now on The Prince of Annwn.  Walton added a couple of adventures, basing one of them on (according to her author's note) a "mysterious relic of the mainland Celts: the so-called 'Monster of Moves.'" 
       I wanted to identify the Monster and find a picture to put on my post.  Could I find anything?  No!  Google drew a complete blank, beyond giving me references to Celtic Moving & Storage and the Celtic football team and stuff from video games, and loads of information on monster movies.  I sent requests for help to various people that I've gotten acquainted with.  I was highly frustrated!
      Then while I was taking my afternoon nap just now, I thought, Hell, I'm a librarian.  And I'll just bet I can find it in ...

       I happen to own a print copy of the Britannica that I picked up at a yard sale in the late '90s for $50.00.  I've mainly used it for the maps, and frankly I think it's been several years since I used it at all.  Google and the internet are just so handy! 
       So I looked up "Monster of Moves" in the index and ... lo and behold!  Context is magic!  "Monster of Noves" just popped right out at me!  On Google, you never get alphabetic context.  In both editions of The Prince of Annwn that I own, it's misspelled.
       Even "Monster of Noves" is obscure on the internet.  There is no Wikipedia article.  I really should write one!  And I won't tell you where I found a few references.  I want to put the picture in my post on my other blog and talk about it there.
       Just goes to show -- it pays never to forget your roots!


  1. Bravo! Sometimes I feel a bit foolish to surround myself with dead tree reference materials when I have the entire internet at my fingertips, but I often find that it's faster to grab the right book off my shelf than to wade through a thousand search results to find the bit I need.

    1. I agree! However, there is one thing that computers have over books and that is the search function. If I read a print book, for example, (and that is my preference), I can't easily find a particular reference, especially if there is no index. On a Kindle, I can search a word and it comes up, "43 references" or whatever. Or in the internet I can use the "Find" function under "Edit" to find a word in an article. But that's about the only advantage electronic media has over print!