Word by Word by Kory Stamper offers an interesting and entertaining look inside one of the processes we humans use in our ongoing attempt to communicate with each other. I am talking about dictionaries. The books and now websites and apps we go to in an effort to understand not only what we want to say but what others mean.
Also, Kory Stamper is a great Twitter follow.
But I digress. Maybe you’ve wondered about who writes dictionaries and what they do all day. Maybe it has never occurred to you to wonder until you read that last sentence. Boy are you in luck because in either case Kory Stamper has written down the gritty details of the life of a modern lexicographer. It seems mostly to be introverts who managed to find someone to pay them to do solitary research.
Give this excellent book a read, you won’t be sorry.
“We think of English as a fortress to be defended, but a better analogy is to think of English as a child. We love and nurture it into being, and once it gains gross motor skills, it starts going exactly where we don’t want it to go: it heads right for the goddamned electrical sockets.”