The Word Detective: A Life in Words: From Serendipity to Selfie (Paperback)John Simpson (author)
- 5+ in stock
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Number of pages: 384
Weight: 302 g
Dimensions: 197 x 133 x 26 mm
There is a poignant and unanticipated counterpoint to John Simpson's fine memoir of his time at the OED-for while his majestic dictionary was during his tenure undergoing changes of the profoundest kind, he and his family were dealing with a personal challenge that places all his lexicographic achievements in the most human of contexts. This is a wonderful book, then-but on two levels, both equally revealing, intimate and true -- Simon Winchester, author of The Professor and the Madman
A perfect title. According to the OED, a Sherlock is someone "who investigates mysteries or shows great perceptiveness". This aptly summarizes Sherlock Simpson, who tells the inside story of how that great dictionary has come to be written, illustrated by illuminating and sometimes daring word histories, and grounded in an engaging and moving autobiography. Anyone fascinated by words and their history will love it -- David Crystal
People think of dictionaries as oracles that channel eternal verities about The Language. In fact they are the handiwork of mortals who deliberate about how to make sense of the creative brainchildren and viral fads of hundreds of millions of wordsmiths. The Word Detective is a delightful and revealing look at the human side of dictionaries, with insights galore about the nature of language. (And why does the adjective galore come after the noun?) -- Steven Pinker, author of The Language Instinct
Vibrant and inspiring * Publishers Weekly *
Simpson's memoir features entertaining, culturally revealing stories of many curious words, phrases, and roots * Booklist *
Simpson, writing with a wry and often self-deprecating wit and an obvious passion for his subject, tells a story that is at once deeply personal and part of the larger story of a fundamental shift in how we share information * Maximum Shelf *
I found this book surprisingly moving. John Simpson's quiet devotion to his daily task, handling words with calmness and devotion, even love, is an inspiration -- Roger Lewis * Mail on Sunday *
A charmingly full, frank and humorous account of a career dedicated to rigorous lexicographic rectitude . . . [Simpson] is an absolute hero -- Lynne Truss * International New York Times *
A compelling tribute to the wonder of language -- Anita Sethi * Guardian *
Poignant . . . a sustained and sincere reflection on what it means to make a dictionary - the toil, the puzzles, the costs and the profits -- Henry Hitchings * Guardian *
This elegantly crafted volume will surely provide greater entertainment than a few more famous memoirists this autumn -- Marcus Berkmann * Daily Mail *
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