There is an alternate universe somewhere in which I am a lexicographer. I write dictionaries for a living. This is not the pipe dream of a grammar-obsessed former English teacher. Right out of grad school (Master’s in English), I turned down an opportunity to work for the Oxford English Dictionary. The job was for a specialist in Caribbean dialects of English. It sounded fantastic. The OED recruiters made clear this was not a stepping stone job for editors and writers. Being a lexicographer leads only to being a better, more experienced lexicographer. Instead, I took a job that involved writing and technology and pop culture, and my life was set on its course. But in an alternate world, I made a different choice and took the dictionary job, and now I sit in a dark apartment in Manhattan mumbling to myself about the horror of language on the Internet.