Thursday, April 9, 2009

What's the little dent under your nose called?

The little dent under a person's nose is called the Philtrum. The edges around it are called the Philtral ridges, according to the Dorling Kindersley Ultimate Visual Dictionary which is kept on the Ready Reference shelf near the Reference Desk. In the old days, before the internet came along, reference librarians kept a few reference books near the phone for answering common questions quickly. The books usually included a general almanac, dictionary, thesaurus, atlas, the CIA Factbook, The Statesman's Yearbook, a secretary's handbook, maybe an etiquette book and so on. Now many of these books and the facts they contain are available online and can be found by "googling" the question. But can you believe what you turn up by googling? I "googled" the phrase "thing under the nose" and up popped a yahoo answer which did in fact have the right answer. A lot of librarians and doctors and nurses and other professionals donate their time to answer yahoo questions, so the information can be reliable, but not always. At the question remains unanswered as I write this. I could create an account with Wiki.Answers and answer the question, but since I already answer questions on Yahoo, I don't want to spread myself too thin. It's hard to remember too many user names and passwords, so I leave that up to someone else. Now that you know, maybe you can become a Wiki.Answer person.
Meanwhile, the DK Ultimate Visual Thesaurus still lives on the Ready Reference shelf because it's really fun just to browse through it. I even gave a visual dictionary to my kids one Christmas. That's the danger of being a librarian's kid, I guess.
What's the space between your eyebrows called? The Glabella.

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