Support AACPL's collections, services, programs and more by setting up a recurring gift. Help make your library better.

The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary

Book Cover
Average Rating
Publisher:
HarperAudio
Pub. Date:
Varies, see individual formats and editions
Language:
English
Description

From the best-selling author of The Professor and the Madman, The Map That Changed the World, and Krakatoa comes a truly wonderful celebration of the English language and of its unrivaled treasure house, the Oxford English Dictionary.


Writing with marvelous brio, Winchester first serves up a lightning history of the English language—"so vast, so sprawling, so wonderfully unwieldy"—and pays homage to the great dictionary makers, from "the irredeemably famous" Samuel Johnson to the "short, pale, smug and boastful" schoolmaster from New Hartford, Noah Webster. He then turns his unmatched talent for story-telling to the making of this most venerable of dictionaries. In this fast-paced narrative, the reader will discover lively portraits of such key figures as the brilliant but tubercular first editor Herbert Coleridge (grandson of the poet), the colorful, boisterous Frederick Furnivall (who left the project in a shambles), and James Augustus Henry Murray, who spent a half-century bringing the project to fruition. Winchester lovingly describes the nuts-and-bolts of dictionary making—how unexpectedly tricky the dictionary entry for marzipan was, or how fraternity turned out so much longer and monkey so much more ancient than anticipated—and how bondmaid was left out completely, its slips found lurking under a pile of books long after the B-volume had gone to press. We visit the ugly corrugated iron structure that Murray grandly dubbed the Scriptorium—the Scrippy or the Shed, as locals called it—and meet some of the legion of volunteers, from Fitzedward Hall, a bitter hermit obsessively devoted to the OED, to W. C. Minor, whose story is one of dangerous madness, ineluctable sadness, and ultimate redemption.


The Meaning of Everything is a scintillating account of the creation of the greatest monument ever erected to a living language. Simon Winchester's supple, vigorous prose illuminates this dauntingly ambitious project—a seventy-year odyssey to create the grandfather of all word-books, the world's unrivalled uber-dictionary.

Also in This Series
More Like This
More Details
ISBN:
9780060744038
Staff View

Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID1c846434-33bb-39f0-0714-d08d4875dc8c
Grouping Titlemeaning of everything the story of the oxford english dictionary
Grouping Authorsimon winchester
Grouping Categorybook
Grouping LanguageEnglish (eng)
Last Grouping Update2023-02-01 04:07:44AM
Last Indexed2023-02-01 04:42:08AM

Solr Fields

accelerated_reader_point_value
0
accelerated_reader_reading_level
0
author
Winchester, Simon
author_display
Winchester, Simon
available_at_aacpl
Online OverDrive Collection
detailed_location_aacpl
Online OverDrive Collection
display_description

From the best-selling author of The Professor and the Madman, The Map That Changed the World, and Krakatoa comes a truly wonderful celebration of the English language and of its unrivaled treasure house, the Oxford English Dictionary.


Writing with marvelous brio, Winchester first serves up a lightning history of the English language—"so vast, so sprawling, so wonderfully unwieldy"—and pays homage to the great dictionary makers, from "the irredeemably famous" Samuel Johnson to the "short, pale, smug and boastful" schoolmaster from New Hartford, Noah Webster. He then turns his unmatched talent for story-telling to the making of this most venerable of dictionaries. In this fast-paced narrative, the reader will discover lively portraits of such key figures as the brilliant but tubercular first editor Herbert Coleridge (grandson of the poet), the colorful, boisterous Frederick Furnivall (who left the project in a shambles), and James Augustus Henry Murray, who spent a half-century bringing the project to fruition. Winchester lovingly describes the nuts-and-bolts of dictionary making—how unexpectedly tricky the dictionary entry for marzipan was, or how fraternity turned out so much longer and monkey so much more ancient than anticipated—and how bondmaid was left out completely, its slips found lurking under a pile of books long after the B-volume had gone to press. We visit the ugly corrugated iron structure that Murray grandly dubbed the Scriptorium—the Scrippy or the Shed, as locals called it—and meet some of the legion of volunteers, from Fitzedward Hall, a bitter hermit obsessively devoted to the OED, to W. C. Minor, whose story is one of dangerous madness, ineluctable sadness, and ultimate redemption.


The Meaning of Everything is a scintillating account of the creation of the greatest monument ever erected to a living language. Simon Winchester's supple, vigorous prose illuminates this dauntingly ambitious project—a seventy-year odyssey to create the grandfather of all word-books, the world's unrivalled uber-dictionary.

format_aacpl
eAudiobook
format_category_aacpl
Audio Books
eBook
id
1c846434-33bb-39f0-0714-d08d4875dc8c
isbn
9780060744038
last_indexed
2023-02-01T09:42:08.296Z
lexile_score
-1
literary_form
Non Fiction
literary_form_full
Non Fiction
local_callnumber_aacpl
Online OverDrive
owning_library_aacpl
Anne Arundel County Public Library Online
owning_location_aacpl
Online OverDrive Collection
primary_isbn
9780060744038
publisher
HarperAudio
recordtype
grouped_work
title_display
The Meaning of Everything The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary
title_full
The Meaning of Everything The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary
title_short
The Meaning of Everything
title_sub
The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary
topic_facet
Biography & Autobiography
History
Nonfiction

Solr Details Tables

item_details

Bib IdItem IdShelf LocCall NumFormatFormat CategoryNum CopiesIs Order ItemIs eContenteContent SourceeContent URLDetailed StatusLast CheckinLocation
overdrive:8eca5453-46d5-4d78-9837-cee0cb023eef1Online OverDrive CollectionOnline OverDriveeAudiobookAudio Books0falsetrueOverDriveAvailable Online
overdrive:8eca5453-46d5-4d78-9837-cee0cb023eef-1Online OverDrive CollectionOnline OverDriveeAudiobookAudio Books3falsetrueOverDriveAvailable Online

record_details

Bib IdFormatFormat CategoryEditionLanguagePublisherPublication DatePhysical DescriptionAbridged
overdrive:8eca5453-46d5-4d78-9837-cee0cb023eefeAudiobookAudio BooksEnglishHarperAudio

scoping_details_aacpl

Bib IdItem IdGrouped StatusStatusLocally OwnedAvailableHoldableBookableIn Library Use OnlyLibrary OwnedHoldable PTypesBookable PTypesLocal Url
overdrive:8eca5453-46d5-4d78-9837-cee0cb023eef1Available OnlineAvailable Onlinefalsetruetruefalsefalsetrue
overdrive:8eca5453-46d5-4d78-9837-cee0cb023eef-1Available OnlineAvailable Onlinefalsetruetruefalsefalsefalse