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Reading the OED: One Man, One Year, 21,730 Pages (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews


January. New Year, so time to learn some new words. I'm not going to read the OED, so I'm glad Mr. Shea did, and tells us about it in a chatty, friendly style that is easy to pick up for a quick bit or to sit back and enjoy. I'm glad a wonderful customer shared this fine volume with me, and I want to pass along the fun. So don't gaum at this book, just buy it and get rid of your twi-thoughts. Do I sound like a philodox or a mote?

— margaret

Description


An obsessive word lover's account of reading the entire Oxford English Dictionary, hailed as "the Super Size Me of lexicography."

"I'm reading the OED so you don't have to," says Ammon Shea on his slightly masochistic journey to scale the word lover's Mount Everest: the Oxford English Dictionary. In 26 chapters filled with sharp wit, sheer delight, and a documentarian's keen eye, Shea shares his year inside the OED, delivering a hair-pulling, eye-crossing account of reading every word.

About the Author


Ammon Shea is the author of two previous books on obscure words, Depraved English and Insulting English (written with Peter Novobatzky). He read his first dictionary, Merriam Webster’s Second International, ten years ago, and followed it up with the sequel, Webster’s Third International. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Praise For…


"Oddly inspiring...Shea has walked the wildwood of our gnarled, ancient speech and returned singing incomprehensible sounds in a language that turns out to be our own."
-Nicholson Baker, New York Times Book Review

"Delicious...a lively lexicon."
-O, The Oprah Magazine

"Readworthy."
-William Safire, The New York Times Magazine
Product Details
ISBN: 9780399535055
ISBN-10: 0399535055
Publisher: TarcherPerigee
Publication Date: May 5th, 2009
Pages: 256
Language: English

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