Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries by Kory Stamper

Into the Wild

Read Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries Online Free - Do you have strong feelings about the word "irregardless"? Have you ever tried to define the word "is"? This account of how dictionaries are made is for you 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.

Title : Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 110187094X
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 320 pages


Hannah rated it ★★★★★

January 10, 2018

Click here to watch a video review of on my BookTube channel, From Beginning to Bookend. For many people, the dictionary is a relic once used by grandparents and is now, in its retirement, relegated to the dishonorable position of dust-covered doorstop. Lexicographers – those quiet, anti-social c...

Snotchocheez rated it ★★★★☆

April 03, 2017

4 stars This totally satisfied my inner "word-nerd". Lexicographer/Merriam-Webster Dictionary-writer (and blogger/vlogger) Kory Stamper provides, with Word by Word, a humorous and fascinating look at the dying art of dictionary construction. It's not nearly as stuffy and dull as the subject matte...

Carlos rated it ★★★★☆

May 26, 2017

I liked this book a lot, but I do have to admit that it was a dense one and it appeals to a sparse group of people. This book needs to be read slow to be enjoyed in a more satisfying manner . I liked how the author made us feel her love for the English Language and how she applied that to her job...

Jessica rated it ★★★★☆

July 10, 2017

This was a fun, fascinating read that gives you some insight into the process of making the Merriam Webster dictionary. Kory Stamper breaks down how decisions are made regarding what goes into the dictionary (it's descriptive, not prescriptive!) as well as how lexicographers write definitions and...

Jill rated it ★★★★☆

January 18, 2018

I would wager that if you look at a list of the hardest jobs in the world, lexicologist would not be on it….well, it should be. These dedicated people are insane geniuses whose entire lives are made up of words; they wake up in the middle of the night to jot down a thought or dream that they had...

Terri rated it ★★★★★

May 14, 2017

I love English--words, language, grammar, all that good stuff--so I was delighted to find this book by Kory Stamper. Stamper is a lexicologist: she writes word definitions for Merriam-Webster. I found the process she describes, and her insights along the way, endlessly fascinating. Stamper's backg...

Suzze rated it ★★★★★

March 10, 2017

When I was in about 6th grade, when my class went to the library, I would take the 6" (or so) thick dictionary off its podium and sit with it, looking for words I didn't know. So, when I saw the advance copy of this book, I HAD to read it. It's just lovely. Written by a lexicographer at Miriam-We...

Louise rated it ★★★★★

September 28, 2017

Kory Stamper takes you inside Merriam Webster to show you how their dictionary is made. You can see how the lexicographers and the company they work for are dedicated to their product. Dictionary users are usually not aware of all that goes into creating these reference works. Many believe that d...

Joe rated it ★★★★★

March 26, 2017

If you love dictionaries, you'll love this book. Written by a confirmed Descriptivist who cannot always control a bit of the Prescriptivist still lurking within. Here's a great paragraph from Stamper's book - If you like the paragraph, I'm betting you will like the book: We think of English as a f...

Andy rated it ★★★★☆

May 06, 2017

fascinating adjective | fas·ci·nat·ing | \ˈfas-ˌnā-tiŋ, ˈfa-sə-ˌnā-\ Definition of fascinating : extremely interesting or charming : captivating a fascinating documentary gave a fascinating account of the expedition That just about sums the whole book up. Interesting and very charming.

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