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festschrift (FEST-shrift) noun, plural festschriften or festschrifts

A volume of writing by many authors as a tribute to a scholar, for example, on the occasion of retirement of a colleague.

[From German Festschrift, from Fest (celebration) + Schrift (writing). Ultimately from Indo-European root skribh- (to cut, separate, or sift) that has resulted in other terms, such as manuscript, subscribe, scripture, scribble, and describe.]

"A festschrift in Sadie's honour was published by Boydell and Brewer in February. Many of his most distinguished colleagues contributed to this celebration of his work." Obituaries: Stanley Sadie; The Times (London, UK); Mar 23, 2005.

"Why do you have a TV when you never watch it?" our daughter Ananya's friend, our little neighbor, asked us one evening while playing in our house. It was a logical question. Our TV is quiet most of the time. In many houses, people turn on their TVs as soon as they enter the front door. It fills the air like an air-freshener. Many become uncomfortable when the TV is turned off, as if their air supply has been cut off.

You often hear people complaining about how little time they have. A moment later you can hear them discussing characters in the latest vacuous reality show. TV doesn't kill just time. It promotes a sedentary lifestyle leading to obesity and early cancellation of our very own reality show.

Recognizing this growing epidemic, a bunch of enlightened folks organize a TV-Turnoff Week every year. It's next week. So what are you going to do with all that time when you turn that TV off? Say: so many books, so little time!

To celebrate the world of books, this week we feature words about books.

-Anu Garg


A stiff apology is a second insult. The injured party does not want to be compensated because he has been wronged; he wants to be healed because he has been hurt. -G.K. Chesterton, author (1874-1936)

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