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The Meaning of Everything
The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary | Simon Winchester
3 posts | 7 read | 3 to read
'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'. Written by the bestselling author of The Surgeon of Crowthorne and The Map That Changed the World, The Meaning of Everything is an enthralling account of the creation of the world's greatest dictionary.
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Texreader
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Pickpick

Less a history and more a celebration of the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary with a roll call to recognize the massive number of people who spent decades of their lives devoted to its creation. Unfortunately the long lists of names don‘t make for fine listening to the audiobook. I probably would have preferred the book. It‘s a good read for lovers of words who would like to honor those undertaking this immense task.

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Texreader
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My next Audible book. Getting it queued up to listen on the plane.

kspenmoll Sounds fascinating! 7mo
Texreader @kspenmoll So far it is! But I‘m not too far into it. This book has been getting all my spare vacation time: 7mo
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Daisey
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This was a reasonably short nonfiction listen about the development and creation of the Oxford English Dictionary. I enjoyed this one a bit more than his book The Professor and the Madman, possibly because of a broader view of the process. It‘s fascinating to consider the time and effort that was put into compiling this dictionary.

#nonfiction #audiobook #Hoopla

Catt I felt the same way about both of Winchester‘s books. This one was interesting but “Professor & the Madman” left me cold. 9mo
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