Cover Image

Word by Word

The Secret Life of Dictionaries

by Kory Stamper

ebook

Sign up to save your library

With an OverDrive account, you can save your favorite libraries for at-a-glance information about availability. Find out more about OverDrive accounts.

   Not today
HAVE YOU EVER TRIED TO DEFINE the word "is"? Do you have strong feelings about the word "irregardless"? Brimming with intelligence and personality, this vastly entertaining account of how dictionaries are made is a must-read for word mavens.
Many of us take dictionaries for granted, and few may realize that 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 to define and how to do it, to the knotty questions of usage in an ever-changing language. She explains why 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. And along the way, she reveals little-known surprises—for example, the fact that "OMG" was first used in a letter to Winston Churchill in 1917.

Word by Word
brings to life the hallowed halls (and highly idiosyncratic cubicles) of Merriam-Webster, a startlingly rich world inhabited by quirky and erudite individuals who quietly shape the way we communicate. Certain to be a delight for all lovers of words, Stamper's debut will make you laugh as much as it makes you appreciate the wonderful complexities and eccentricities of the English language.

Publication Details

Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Imprint:
Pantheon
Publication Date:
2017
Available in:
United States, Singapore, Canada, New Zealand, Australia

Format

  • Kindle Book
  • OverDrive Read 6.4 MB
  • Adobe EPUB eBook 6.4 MB

Kory Stamper (Author)

KORY STAMPER is a lexicographer at Merriam-Webster, where she also writes, edits, and appears in the "Ask the Editor" video series. She blogs regularly on language and lexicography at www.korystamper.com and her writing has appeared in The Guardia...

More about Kory Stamper
Word by Word
Copy and paste the code into your website.