Word By Word
by Kory Stamper
Editor: Random House USA Inc
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You have strong feelings about saying “whatever”Have you ever tried to define the word “is”Overflowing with intelligence and personality, this very entertaining account of how dictionaries are a must-read for gurus wordMany of us take dictionaries for granted, and some may realize that the dictionary writing process is, in fact, the most lively and dynamic, like the language itselfWith sharp mind and irreverence, Kory Stamper cracks open the complex, obsessive disorder world of lexicography, from the agony of decisions on what to define and how to do it, to the gnarled questions of use in the constantly evolving languageShe explains why small words are the most difficult to define, how it can take nine months to define a single word, and how our prejudices about language and pronunciation can have a great social influence.And along the way it reveals little known surprises, for example, the fact that’OMG’ was first used in a letter to Winston Churchill in 1917Word by word, brings to the life of the rooms (and very characteristic, stalls) of Merriam-Webster, surprisingly rich in the world inhabited by eccentric and erudite people who, quietly, shape the way we communicateCertain to be a delight for all word lovers, Stamper First will make you laugh as much as it makes you appreciate the wonderful complexity and eccentricities of the English language.
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