I had never seen the word amanuensis before Mr. Newmark used it on his blog Transylvanian Dutch. However, I was reading To Kill a Mockingbird (by Harper Lee) and there it was in the middle of the story. Here's a web link that shows you where it is in the story. Aunt Alexandra joins the Maycomb Amanuensis Club. Isn't strange that right after you learn a new word, you see it over and over again?