All of which is to say that the OED on CD-Rom has its uses but none of the tactile pleasure of the printed volumes: absent from both is the recurrent offer of tactile as a quality in lonely-hearts columns. But the CD-Rom solves one question: who is quoted more, Cooke or Crisp? Neither figures. The many Cooke references are either the authors of works on physics or fungi - or a 1930 study, Prepubescent Syphilis.
THERE'S NO muddling those two grey-haired, 90-year-old, finely spoken English gentlemen who have made Manhattan their home and regularly deliver commentary upon its manifold delights and absurdities: Alistair Cooke has an apartment on Fifth Avenue by the Park while Quentin Crisp makes do with a dusty room in Greenwich Village.