The book is entitled The Liar’s Dictionary, meaning whatever the Dictionary is, it belongs to “Liars” — People who are not true to themselves, neither to others — an already devalued identity.
Play with words is like playing with fire, it risks oneself to be devoured.
No one denies the power of words, but the weight words carry has been put on tests again and again. People rarely admit that words are games they play, words also tells characteristics one shows or hides from him or herself or others. Here comes the author, who tries to tell us, dictionary is the collector of words, all the words, and people who work on the dictionaries are the master of all — fake or real — only they themselves have to bear the weight of certain words.
Therefore, the book The Liar’s Dictionary is for dictionary enthusiastic. Same like the protagonist Mallory, an intern at an encyclopedia editing house, who finds fake entries in an unfinished encyclopaedia from 19th century.
Interestingly, fake entries in dictionaries have a term for it —
Mountweazel (n.) - a fake entry deliberately inserted into a dictionary or work of reference. Often used as a safeguard against copyright infringement. --The Liar's Dictionary
However, linking all the fake entries Mallory discovered, readers find clues that both Mallory and another character whose narrate involves his story line in 19th century while composing those fake entries in order to tell / expose the hidden part of himself in the dictionary.
Apparently, both characters have some deep hidden pains inside, and both are living lies that they composed themselves. As the author tells the truth, stories behind fake words become clear —
Here’s a thing — you carve out a code and mode for yourself at work. The job is not demanding and some of us, many of us, choose to switch off parts of our characters, all of our character, just to get through the day. --The Liar's Dictionary
Language tell tales. For Mallory, her secret is her hidden sexuality. Dictionary is the building bricks of each language, but people are there to form sentences, make it work:
Language is something you accept or trust rather than necessarily want to test out.--The Liar's Dictionary
It is so true but also so been lost sight of that language is something one trust, not to play with. Characters in the book did the opposite, so did many of us. Below are two of my favourite fake entries, the latter ends the book:
paracmasticon (adj.), one who seeks out truth through guile in a time of crisis --The Liar's Dictionary
auroflorous (adj.), to escape at night, usually with a renewed sense of purpose(s). Obsolete --The Liar's Dictionary
Aren’t we all trapped, like words in dictionaries?Tweet