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Reading the OED: One Man, One Year, 21,730 Pagesby Ammon Shea
Synopses & Reviews
The author of Reading the OED presents an eye-opening look at language mistakes” and how they came to be accepted as correct—or not.
English is a glorious mess of a language, cobbled together from a wide variety of sources and syntaxes, and changing over time with popular usage. Many of the words and usages we embrace as standard and correct today were at first considered slang, impolite, or just plain wrong.
Whether you consider yourself a stickler, a nitpicker, or a rule-breaker in the know, Bad English is sure to enlighten, enrage, and perhaps even inspire. Filled with historic and contemporary examples, the book chronicles the long and entertaining history of language mistakes, and features some of our most common words and phrases, including:
Lively, surprising, funny, and delightfully readable, this is a book that will settle arguments among word lovers—and its sure to start a few, too.
Book News Annotation:
To enthusiast Shea, the 137 pounds is as nothing, the tiny print is no impediment, and getting through the nearly 22,000 pages is just a labor of love. Working on the idea that you always imitate the source of your inspiration and power, Shea plowed through all said pages and managed to do so in one year and arranged some of his chief findings in alphabetical order, from whence we come to learn such terms as "father-better" and "twi-thought." Much better than a word-a-day approach, and containing infinitely more clever ideas and usage, Shea's treatment features a wry approach to his love of the language and what appears to be a staggering amount, literally, of caffeine. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
With sharp wit, sheer delight, and a keen eye, Shea shares his year inside the "Oxford English Dictionary," delivering a hair-pulling, eye-crossing account of reading every word, and revealing the most obscure, hilarious, and wonderful gems he discovers along the way.
An obsessive word lover's account of reading the entire Oxford English Dictionary, hailed as "the Super Size Me of lexicography."
"I'm reading the OED so you don't have to," says Ammon Shea on his slightly masochistic journey to scale the word lover's Mount Everest: the Oxford English Dictionary. In 26 chapters filled with sharp wit, sheer delight, and a documentarian's keen eye, Shea shares his year inside the OED, delivering a hair-pulling, eye-crossing account of reading every word.
An obsessive word love‛s account of reading the Oxford English Dictionary cover to cover.
“‛m reading the OED so you do‛t have to. If you are interested in vocabulary that is both spectacularly useful and beautifully useless, read on..”
So reports Ammon Shea, the tireless, word-obsessed, and more than slightly masochistic author of Reading the OED. The word love‛s Mount Everest, the OED has enthralled logophiles since its initial publication 80 years ago. Weighing in at 137 pounds, it is the dictionary to end all dictionaries.
In 26 chapters filled with sharp wit, sheer delight, and a documentaria‛s keen eye, Shea shares his year inside the OED, delivering a hair-pulling, eye-crossing account of reading every word, and revealing the most obscure, hilarious, and wonderful gems he discovers along the way.
About the Author
Ammon Shea is the author of two previous books on obscure words, Depraved English and Insulting English (written with Peter Novobatzky). He read his first dictionary, Merriam Webster’s Second International, ten years ago, and followed it up with the sequel, Webster’s Third International. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
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