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The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary

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9780198607021: The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary
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A kleptomaniac, the nephew of a French Emperor, the creator of an imaginary land inhabited by small hairy creatures, a homicidal lunatic, an Esperanto enthusiast, the man who introduced the camel to the Wild West, the captain of an all-ladies sculling team, a hermit, and the son of a Scottish draper. Just who were these people and what connected them to the world's greatest dictionary? It was on New Year's morning, 1928, that an eruption of mad lexical glee from a battered old typewriter on a desk in Baltimore from the hands of Henry Louis Mencken sent news all across the USA of the long-awaited publication of the book that was to crown the English language undisputed monarch of the linguistic kingdom. From the Oxford-based project a total of 414,825 words, ten times as many as had hitherto been suspected of existing, had now been recognized and catalogued, the results of seventy years of Herculean effort by scholars, linguists, and thousands of ordinary and not-so-ordinary people. The Meaning of Everything is a readily accessible historical account of the making of the remarkable Oxford English Dictionary, leading up to the appointment of the first editor, James Murray, in 1879 through to its triumphant publication in 1928 and beyond. Brought to life by Simon Winchester's characteristic talent for story-telling, the achievement of making the dictionary is an unforgettable story, and is further enlivened by portraits of the myriad characters involved in its creation. From the context of early dictionaries and national projects of the Victorian Era, Simon Winchester leads his narrative through early attempts to create what was then expected to be a four-volume dictionary, the appointment of James Murray as editor, the unusual, never-before-attempted way in which the book was constructed, and the people and processes involved in the definition of thousands of words, to the triumphant publication of the dictionary and its adaptation to the age of technology. The profound impact the volumes had when they first appeared, the fame the dictionary has had in the eight decades since, and that it can be expected to have in years to come, receive full and fascinating treatment here at the pen of the best-selling author of The Surgeon of Crowthorne and The Map That Changed The World.

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Recensione:

This is a book to savour and linger over ... a book that delights and instructs in equal measure. A must for all those who use and love the language. (DAWN, Pakistan)

Responsible for first conceiving the dictionary and then seeing it to publication were an extraordinary collection of scholars, editors and keen volunteers. Winchester brings many of them to life in his book with great warmth and admiration. (DAWN, Pakistan)

with gripping narrative flair, he brings one of the most intriguing of forgotten histories to life (The Guardian)

an absorbing account...an entertaining narrative (John Mullan, Evening Standard)

a fascinating history (Andrew Rosenheim, Independent Review)

the book has charm, eccentricity, and readability (Mark Bostridge)

In his hands, a tortuous process of scholarship becomes a fascinating story (Observer (Review))

an absorbing and entertaining history...Simon Winchester's captivating book stresses the qualities which made the Oxford English Dictionary the remarkable book that it remains (Tom Penn, Times Literary Supplement)

this is history brought to life. If you love words, this will be the most fascinating book you'll read all year (Choice Magazine)

one of the most illuminating, enjoyable reads (Tara Pepper, Newsweek)

L'autore:


Simon Winchester is the author of the bestsellers The Map That Changed the World, The Madman and the Professor, and Krakatoa. He was a foreign correspondent for The Guardian and The Sunday Times and was based in Belfast, New Delhi, New York, London and Hong Kong. Winchester has written for Conde Nast Traveler, Smithsonian, and National Geographic. He lives in Massachusetts, New York, and the Western Isles of Scotland.

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Altre edizioni note dello stesso titolo

9780198814399: The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary

Edizione in evidenza

ISBN 10: 0198814399 ISBN 13: 9780198814399
Casa editrice: OUP Oxford, 2018
Brossura

9780195175004: The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary

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9780192805768: The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary

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9780965499637: The Meaning of Everything (The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary)

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Brossura

9780641715617: The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary

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