skip to content
Word by word : the secret life of dictionaries Preview this item
ClosePreview this item

Word by word : the secret life of dictionaries

Author: Kory Stamper
Publisher: New York : Pantheon Books, [2017]
Edition/Format:   Print book : English : First editionView all editions and formats
Summary:
"Brimming with intelligence and personality, a vastly entertaining account of how dictionaries are made - a must read for word mavens. Have you ever tried to define the word "is?" Do you have strong feelings about the word (and, yes, it is a word) "irregardless?" Did you know that OMG was first used in 1917, in a letter to Winston Churchill? These are the questions that keep lexicographers up at night. While most of  Read more...
Getting this item's online copy... Getting this item's online copy...

Find a copy in the library

Getting this item's location and availability... Getting this item's location and availability...

WorldCat

Find it in libraries globally
Worldwide libraries own this item

Details

Genre/Form: Biography
Criticism, interpretation, etc
History
Biographies
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Stamper, Kory.
Word by word.
New York : Pantheon Books, [2017]
(DLC) 2016037824
Named Person: Englisch
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Kory Stamper
ISBN: 9781101870945 110187094X
OCLC Number: 956775014
Description: 296 pages ; 22 cm
Contents: Hrafnkell: On falling in love --
But: On grammar --
It's: On "grammar" --
Irregardless: On wrong words --
Corpus: On collecting the bones --
Surfboard: On defining --
Pragmatic: On examples --
Take: On small words --
Bitch: On bad words --
Posh: On etymology and linguistic originalism --
American dream: On dates --
Nuclear: On pronunciation --
Nude: On correspondence --
Marriage: On authority and the dictionary --
Epilogue: The damnedest thing.
Responsibility: Kory Stamper.

Abstract:

"Brimming with intelligence and personality, a vastly entertaining account of how dictionaries are made - a must read for word mavens. Have you ever tried to define the word "is?" Do you have strong feelings about the word (and, yes, it is a word) "irregardless?" Did you know that OMG was first used in 1917, in a letter to Winston Churchill? These are the questions that keep lexicographers up at night. While most of us might take dictionaries for granted, the process of writing dictionaries is in fact as lively and dynamic as language itself. With sharp wit and irreverence, Kory Stamper cracks open the complex, obsessive world of lexicography, from the agonizing decisions about what and how to define, to the knotty questions of usage in an ever-changing language. She explains why the small words are the most difficult to define, how it can take nine months to define a single word, and how our biases about language and pronunciation can have tremendous social influence. Throughout Stamper brings to life the hallowed halls (and highly idiosyncratic cubicles) of Merriam-Webster, a surprisingly rich world inhabited by quirky and erudite individuals who quietly shape the way we communicate. A sure delight for all lovers of words, Harmless Drudges will also improve readers' grasp and use of the English language"--
Retrieving notes about this item Retrieving notes about this item

Reviews

User-contributed reviews

Tags

Be the first.
Confirm this request

You may have already requested this item. Please select Ok if you would like to proceed with this request anyway.

Close Window

Please sign in to WorldCat 

Don't have an account? You can easily create a free account.