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The Meaning of Everything
The Meaning of Everything
Author: Simon Winchester
From the best-selling author of The Professor and the Madman, The Map That Changed the World, and Krakatoa comes a truly wonderful celebration of the English language and of its unrivaled treasure house, the Oxford English Dictionary. Writing with marvelous brio, Winchester first serves up a lightning history of the English language--'so vast, ...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780192805768
ISBN-10: 0192805762
Publication Date: 9/23/2004
Pages: 288
Rating:
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 2

3 stars, based on 2 ratings
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 0
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reviewed The Meaning of Everything on + 65 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book was every bit as much fun as I'd hoped it would be, most focused on the OED from its inception in 1857 through first complete publication in 1928. Purposes and goals, compilation of information, obstacles, personalities... all woven in a well-told easy read. Winchester also gives some background on dictionary development, more interesting than you might think; OED's supplements, 1989 second edition, and ongoing updates even now; plus bibliography and good index. Reads like a novel, but I'll keep it on my reference shelf.
reviewed The Meaning of Everything on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A surprisingly engaging look at the men who labored for over 70-years without the aid of computers to produce the Oxford English Dictionary, a 12-volume beast originally published in 1928. A "Revised Edition" yet to be published may be as large as 40-volumes and weigh as much as a sixth of a ton. "Each printing would consume a sizeable acreage of woodland. The environment would be affected, significantly." Perhaps then, it will only see life on the Net. A great read for those who love the English language.
reviewed The Meaning of Everything on
Helpful Score: 1
A fascinating "listen" for any student of English who is interested in etymology and the history of the OED. Includes numerous details and anecdotes on the dictionary making process, various eccentric editors of the dictionary, and their efforts to cultivate public participation in the project which spanned over a half century.
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