Knopf The Dictionary People: The Unsung Heroes Who Created the Oxford English Dictionary Knopf The Dictionary People: The Unsung Heroes Who Created the Oxford English Dictionary
Knopf The Dictionary People: The Unsung Heroes Who Created the Oxford English Dictionary Knopf The Dictionary People: The Unsung Heroes Who Created the Oxford English Dictionary

The Dictionary People: The Unsung Heroes Who Created the Oxford English Dictionary

By Sarah Ogilvie

$30.00

Publication Date: October 17, 2023

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A history and celebration of the many far-flung volunteers who helped define the English language, word by word

The Oxford English Dictionary is one of mankind’s greatest achievements, and yet, curiously, its creators are almost never considered. Who were the people behind this unprecedented book? As Sarah Ogilvie reveals, they include three murderers, a collector of pornography, the daughter of Karl Marx, a president of Yale, a radical suffragette, a vicar who was later found dead in the cupboard of his chapel, an inventor of the first American subway, a female anti-slavery activist in Philadelphia . . . and thousands of others. 

Of deep transgenerational and broad appeal, a thrilling literary detective story that, for the first time, unravels the mystery of the endlessly fascinating contributors the world over who, for over seventy years, helped to codify the way we read and write and speak. It was the greatest crowdsourcing endeavor in human history, the Wikipedia of its time.  

The Dictionary People is a celebration of words, language, and people, whose eccentricities and obsessions, triumphs, and failures enriched the English language.

About the Author

SARAH OGILVIE is a linguist, lexicographer, writer, and technologist. Raised in Australia, she has lived and worked in both the United States, teaching at Stanford, and Britain. She currently teaches at Oxford University, where she develops and directs a new degree integrating humanities with technology.

Author Residence: Oxford, UK

Format: Hardcover

Length: 368 pages

Publisher: Knopf

Publication Date: October 17, 2023

ISBN: 9780593536407

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