Careful Words

index (n.)

index (v.)

  One writer, for instance, excels at a plan or a title-page, another works away the body of the book, and a third is a dab at an index.

Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774): The Bee. No. 1, Oct. 6, 1759.

Where the statue stood

Of Newton, with his prism and silent face,

The marble index of a mind forever

Voyaging through strange seas of thought alone.

William Wordsworth (1770-1850): The Prelude. Book iii.

What act

That roars so loud, and thunders in the index?

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 4.

How index-learning turns no student pale,

Yet holds the eel of science by the tail.

Alexander Pope (1688-1744): The Dunciad. Book i. Line 279.