“Mother, why don’t Butterflies fly around the lamp, as Moths do?” (Feb, 1938)

This is weird ad for a weird dictionary. It only has “hundreds of questions” and one of them is about butterflies? It seems like it should be called Merriam-Webster’s dictionary and trivia book.

“Mother, why don’t Butterflies fly around the lamp, as Moths do?”

“Our New Merriam-Webster gives this interesting reason:”

“The moils are usually nocturnal or crepuscular (night-flying or twilight’ flying). But the butterflies are diurnal (daylight-Hying). Accordingly, butterflies are not abroad at night, and are not attracted by lamps.”

WHEN your boy asks you to tell him what makes the talk and music in the movie theatre, the Merriam-Webster is ready to help you out with a picture of the sound projector, and a short and clear description of the way it works.

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And so it is with practically every subject that you read about or hear mentioned in conversation; somewhere in the 3350 pages of this greatest of all single reference volumes you will find concise information—with clear illustrations when needed.

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It gives you more “dictionary information”— spellings, pronunciations, definitions—than any other reference book contains. And. in addition, you have always available its encyclopedic articles on business, law, architecture, manufacturing, medicine, aviation, radio, sound pictures, gems, coins, birds, insects, plants, color, music, and thousands of other interesting subjects. 207 of the world’s leading authorities give you their “last word” on whatever you want to know.

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What bird is kept in India to get rid of snakes, as we keep a cat to kill mice?
What ancient Roman silver coin was the “penny” of the New Testament?
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What water-creature carries a real “file” in its mouth?

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Webster’s New International Dictionary • Second Edition

  1. Thundercat says: October 1, 200710:31 am

    I think a better question would be “Mother, why is our house infested with all of these moths?”

  2. Blurgle says: October 1, 20071:49 pm

    The look on that woman’s face is making my skin crawl. WHY is she looking at her SON like that?

  3. nlpnt says: October 2, 20077:27 pm

    She’s looking at the *lamp*. The Laaaaaaaaaammmmppppppp…………..

  4. Dan Kirklin says: October 4, 20078:38 am

    And the freaking ad got the logo wrong: It’s the MW logo, you illiterates! Oh, well, they’re all dead now, so it doesn’t matter.

  5. Chainsaw Fencing Champ says: October 4, 20071:34 pm

    That’s a really halfassed answer to the moth question.

  6. Kev says: January 23, 20088:52 am

    “Son, what the hell does that question have to do with that algebra homework you’ve been working on for the past 5 hours?!”

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