The meaning of everything : the story of the Oxford English Dictionary / Simon Winchester
- Winchester, Simon
- Additional Titles:
- Story of the Oxford English Dictionary
- Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2018.
- Copyright Date:
- Second edition, new edition, 90th anniversary edition.
- Physical Description:
- 298 pages : illustrations, portraits, facsimiles ; 20 cm
- Prologue -- Taking the measure of it all -- The construction of the pigeon-holes -- The general officer commanding -- Battling with the undertow -- Pushing through the untrodden forest -- So heavily goes the chariot -- The hermit and the murderer--and Hereward Thimbleby Price -- From take to turn-down--and then, triumphal valediction -- Epilogue: and alway beginning again -- The Periodical, 'The Oxford English Dictionary Completed 1884-1928'.
- "The greatest enterprise of its kind in history," was the verdict of British prime minister Stanley Baldwin in June 1928 when The Oxford English Dictionary was finally published. With its 15,490 pages and nearly two million quotations, it was indeed a monumental achievement, gleaned from the efforts of hundreds of ordinary and extraordinary people who made it their mission to catalogue the English language in its entirety. In The Meaning of Everything, Simon Winchester celebrates this remarkable feat, and the fascinating characters who played such a vital part in its execution, from the colourful Frederick Furnivall, cheerful promoter of an all-female sculling crew, to James Murray, self-educated son of a draper, who spent half a century guiding the project towards fruition. Along the way we learn which dictionary editor became the inspiration for Kenneth Grahame's Ratty in The Wind in the Willows, and why Tolkien found it so hard to define "walrus".
- 9780198814399 (paperback)
- "First edition published 2003. First issued as an Oxford University Press paperback 2004. New edition 2018"--Title page verso.
"90th anniversary edition"--Back cover.
"To commemorate 90 years of the Oxford English Dictionary, this edition includes a facsimile of the official 1928 Oxford University Press pamphlet, The making of the dictionary".--Back cover.
- Bibliography Note:
- Includes bibliographical references (pages 289-291) and index.
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