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Download Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries, by Kory Stamper Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Kory Stamper Narrator: Kory Stamper Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Brimming with intelligence and personality, a vastly entertaining account of how dictionaries are made—a must read for word mavens.

While most of us might take dictionaries for granted, the process of writing them is in fact as lively and dynamic as language itself. With sharp wit and irreverence, Kory Stamper cracks open the complex, obsessive world of lexicography—from the agonizing decisions about what and how to define, to the knotty questions of usage in an ever-changing language. She explains why small words are the most difficult to define (have you ever tried to define “is”?), how it can take nine months to define a single word, and how our biases about language and pronunciation can have tremendous social influence. Throughout, Stamper brings to life the hallowed halls (and highly idiosyncratic cubicles) of Merriam-Webster, a world inhabited by quirky, erudite individuals who quietly shape the way we communicate. A sure delight for all lovers of words, Word by Word might also quietly improve readers’ grasp and use of the English language.

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Quotes & Awards

  • As a writer, Kory Stamper can do anything with words: define them, split them, lump them, agglute them, and make them work for her every bit as ferociously and precisely as she works for them in her day job as a far from mild-mannered lexicographer at Merriam-Webster. You will never take a dictionary entry for granted again. Mary Norris, bestselling author of Between You & Me
  • [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
  • As a writer, Kory Stamper can do anything with words: define them, split them, lump them, agglute them, and make them work for her every bit as ferociously and precisely as she works for them in her day job as a far from mild-mannered lexicographer at Merriam-Webster. You will never take a dictionary entry for granted again. Mary Norris, bestselling author of Between You & Me 
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • [Stamper] loves her work, and her enthusiasm adds a real zest to her tales of usage… Big-time Scrabble fans will love this book. Kirkus
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