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Word by word: the secret life of dictionaries

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Pub. Date:
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Language:
English
Description
Do you have strong feelings about the word "irregardless"? Have you ever tried to define the word "is"? 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.
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ISBN:
9781101870945
110187094
9781524776169
9781101870952
Lexile measure:
1170L
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID b3a9b746-b96d-7fbd-82b7-88513d5601ba
Full title word by word the secret life of dictionaries
Author stamper kory
Grouping Category book
Last Update 2018-05-24 23:05:25PM
Last Indexed 2018-05-24 02:19:08AM

Solr Details

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author Kory Stamper
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collection_catalog Non-Fiction
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display_description "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"--
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publishDate 2017
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subject_facet Encyclopedias and dictionaries -- History and criticism, Lexicographers -- Biography, Lexicography -- History
title_display Word by word : the secret life of dictionaries
title_full Word by Word The Secret Life of Dictionaries, Word by word : the secret life of dictionaries / Kory Stamper
title_short Word by word :
title_sub the secret life of dictionaries
topic_facet Biography, Biography & Autobiography, Encyclopedias and dictionaries, History, History and criticism, Language Arts, Lexicographers, Lexicography, Nonfiction, Reference