Do you have strong feelings about the word “irregardless”? Have you ever tried to define the word “is”? Brimming with intelligence and personality, this vastly entertaining account of how dictionaries are made is a must-read for word mavens.
Praise for Word by Word:
“A witty, sly, occasionally profane behind-the-scenes tour aimed at deposing the notion of ‘real and proper English’… Stamper corrals [words] to her purpose with such aplomb that readers might just feel like applauding. For those who love language, this debut…will be a delectable feast.”
—Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
“Neatly and wittily covers grammar… A smart, sparkling and often hilarious valentine to the content and keepers of dictionaries. Most people use a dictionary with little thought given to the genesis of definitions, or their maintenance. Stamper pulls back the curtain in Word by Word.”
—Marilyn Dahl, Shelf Awareness for Readers
“[M]arvelous insight into the messy world behind the tidy definitions on the page… Lexicography is not sexy, but in this spirited book about the science and art of making dictionaries, it is by turns amusing, frustrating, surprising, and above all, engrossing. It is perhaps unsurprising, given her line of work, that Stamper employs words with delightful precision in her writing. What is surprising is how enjoyable she makes reading about the drudgery of dictionary making. Seen through Stamper’s eyes, a dictionary is not only a reference source, but also a living linguistic record and a window into history.”
—Bridget Thoreson, Booklist
“[Stamper] loves her work, and her enthusiasm adds a real zest to her tales of usage… Big-time Scrabble fans will love this book.”
You can purchase Word by Word at any number of fine book retailers. You can also hear me read from Word by Word (and get your copy autographed) during my book tour!
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