The Melbourne Athenaeum Library

The meaning of everything : the story of the Oxford English Dictionary /

by Winchester, Simon, Edition statement:Second edition. Published by : Oxford University Press, (Oxford :) , 2018 Physical details: xxxiii, 298 pages : illustrations, portraits ; 20 cm. ISBN:9780198814399 (paperback).
Item type Home library Collection Call number Status Date due Barcode Item reserves
Book Melbourne Athenaeum Library
Non-Fiction 423.09 WIN Available 062146
Total reserves: 0

Originally published: 2003.

Formerly CIP. Uk

Includes bibliographical references and index.

Machine generated contents note: 1.Taking the Measure of It All -- 2.The Construction of the Pigeon-Holes -- 3.The General Officer Commanding -- 4.Battling with the Undertow -- 5.Pushing through the Untrodden Forest -- 6.So Heavily Goes the Chariot -- 7.The Hermit and the Murderer -- and Hereward Thimbleby Price -- 8.From Take to Turn-down -- and then, Triumphal Valediction.

"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".

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