Non Fiction

Word by Word by Kory Stamper

This nonfiction book about the creation of dictionaries — and the people who write and edit them — could have been as dry as dust. It wasn’t. It was witty and ironic and passionate. The writer, a self-proclaimed (self-celebrated) word nerd revels in her work as she describes the process of the entry of words into the English language… and how, along the way, (for example) she makes her own transformation from a self-righteous critic of “irregardless” to an ardent defender of it. One recurring theme summarizes it all: People write emails to her, screaming that slangy or jargon-y words shouldn’t enter the dictionary, just because everyone uses them. “Au contraire,” she replies, “that’s *exactly* how they enter dictionaries.” I loved dictionaries before reading this book. I love them more now.


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