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Word by Word - The Secret Life of Dictionaries-logo

Word by Word - The Secret Life of Dictionaries

Kory Stamper

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.

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.
More Information

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.

Language:

English

Length:

9h 50m


Chapters

Chapter 1
Chapter 1

00:12


Chapter 2
Chapter 2

00:09


Chapter 3
Chapter 3

00:49


Chapter 4
Chapter 4

04:03


Chapter 5
Chapter 5

07:09


Chapter 6
Chapter 6

07:52


Chapter 7
Chapter 7

05:41


Chapter 8
Chapter 8

06:08


Chapter 9
Chapter 9

08:17


Chapter 10
Chapter 10

04:06


Chapter 11
Chapter 11

06:20


Chapter 12
Chapter 12

07:53


Chapter 13
Chapter 13

08:28


Chapter 14
Chapter 14

06:20


Chapter 15
Chapter 15

05:50


Chapter 16
Chapter 16

06:09


Chapter 17
Chapter 17

06:40


Chapter 18
Chapter 18

06:19


Chapter 19
Chapter 19

05:55


Chapter 20
Chapter 20

08:14


Chapter 21
Chapter 21

04:21


Chapter 22
Chapter 22

08:52


Chapter 23
Chapter 23

06:54


Chapter 24
Chapter 24

09:02


Chapter 25
Chapter 25

07:44


Chapter 26
Chapter 26

05:13


Chapter 27
Chapter 27

08:08


Chapter 28
Chapter 28

06:22


Chapter 29
Chapter 29

07:27


Chapter 30
Chapter 30

06:02


Chapter 31
Chapter 31

08:36


Chapter 32
Chapter 32

07:16


Chapter 33
Chapter 33

07:19


Chapter 34
Chapter 34

07:53


Chapter 35
Chapter 35

05:30


Chapter 36
Chapter 36

09:01


Chapter 37
Chapter 37

05:19


Chapter 38
Chapter 38

07:02


Chapter 39
Chapter 39

08:25


Chapter 40
Chapter 40

08:53


Chapter 41
Chapter 41

07:15


Chapter 42
Chapter 42

06:25


Chapter 43
Chapter 43

06:44


Chapter 44
Chapter 44

06:51


Chapter 45
Chapter 45

05:57


Chapter 46
Chapter 46

05:22


Chapter 47
Chapter 47

06:02


Chapter 48
Chapter 48

06:02


Chapter 49
Chapter 49

05:19


Chapter 50
Chapter 50

07:48


Chapter 51
Chapter 51

08:47


Chapter 52
Chapter 52

07:54


Chapter 53
Chapter 53

06:22


Chapter 54
Chapter 54

07:22


Chapter 55
Chapter 55

04:49


Chapter 56
Chapter 56

08:17


Chapter 57
Chapter 57

08:46


Chapter 58
Chapter 58

03:49


Chapter 59
Chapter 59

06:01


Chapter 60
Chapter 60

05:19


Chapter 61
Chapter 61

07:00


Chapter 62
Chapter 62

05:10


Chapter 63
Chapter 63

07:53


Chapter 64
Chapter 64

06:01


Chapter 65
Chapter 65

08:32


Chapter 66
Chapter 66

06:16


Chapter 67
Chapter 67

08:36


Chapter 68
Chapter 68

05:18


Chapter 69
Chapter 69

07:59


Chapter 70
Chapter 70

08:27


Chapter 71
Chapter 71

06:49


Chapter 72
Chapter 72

05:18


Chapter 73
Chapter 73

03:51


Chapter 74
Chapter 74

08:07


Chapter 75
Chapter 75

05:55


Chapter 76
Chapter 76

04:00


Chapter 77
Chapter 77

06:47


Chapter 78
Chapter 78

08:04


Chapter 79
Chapter 79

07:43


Chapter 80
Chapter 80

03:21


Chapter 81
Chapter 81

06:45


Chapter 82
Chapter 82

07:56


Chapter 83
Chapter 83

08:16


Chapter 84
Chapter 84

08:05


Chapter 85
Chapter 85

07:58


Chapter 86
Chapter 86

06:50


Chapter 87
Chapter 87

07:28


Chapter 88
Chapter 88

04:11


Chapter 89
Chapter 89

06:36


Chapter 90
Chapter 90

05:41


Chapter 91
Chapter 91

00:26