The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary
'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 theefforts 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, whospent 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.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Taking the Measure of It All
The Construction of the PigeonHoles
The General Officer Commanding
Battling with the Undertow
Pushing through the Untrodden Forest
So Heavily Goes the Chariot
The Hermit and the Murdererand Hereward Thimbleby Price
Other editions - View all
alphabet American appear assistants Banbury Road became began beginning Benjamin Jowett Bradley's British called century completed Dean Trench definition Delegates dialect Diction E. P. Thompson early edition editor England English language entire etymology eventually fact fascicle fascination finished Fitzedward Hall formal Frederick Furnivall French Furnivall's Gell headwords Henry Bradley Herbert Coleridge Hucks Gibbs illustrative included James Murray Johnson known labour later Latin learned letter lexicographer linguistic literature London look Mill Hill Murray and Bradley Murray's never Old English once Oxford English Dictionary paper perhaps Philip Lyttelton Gell Philological Society phrase pigeon-holes Preface Press printed published quotation slips scholar scores Scriptorium seemed small number story sub-editor Sunnyside task tion tionary took turned University volumes volunteer readers W. C. Minor Walter Skeat Webster William Craigie writing written wrote