On Tuesday 5 August 2014, Ammon Shea, author of Reading the OED and Bad English, leads a discussion on Shakespeare’s King Lear. Each summer, Oxford University Press USA and Bryant Park in New York City partner for their summer reading series Word for Word Book Club.
Ammon Shea explores the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary.
Ammon Shea reflects on his trip to Oxford.
Ammon wonders about the word Gossypiboma.
All dictionaries have mistakes. Ghost words creep in, there are occasional misspellings, or perhaps the printer was hung over one day and misplaced some punctuation. In addition to these normal forms of human error there are others that are created by language, as it continues its inexorable change.
John McGrath the genius behind Wordie.org fills in for Ben Zimmer.
Several months ago, John McGrath of Wordie interviewed me for this blog. He asked me about my favorite words that I had come across in reading the OED and I gave him a list of what they were at the time. But words can be capricious things, and the ones of which I am fondest are constantly changing.
By Ammon Shea
Every year, a group of people at OUP USA put our heads together and come up with a Word of the Year. This is an example of a word (or expression) that we feel has attracted a great deal of new interest in the year to date. It need not have been coined within the past twelve months (although it generally is a new word). It does not have to be a word that will stick around for a good length of time (it is very difficult to accurately predict which new words will have staying power). It does not even have to be a word that we plan on introducing into the dictionary (at least, not unless it seems fairly certain that it will stick around for a while).
Ammon Shea reveals how the Oxford Word of the Year is chosen.
Ammon Shea reports on the Dictionary Society of North America Conference.
Ammon Shea reviews I’m Not Hanging Noodles On Your Ears.
Ammon Shea looks at a series of buildings named after Oliver Cromwell.
Ammon Shea looks at the role of interns.
Ammon Shea shares his love of obituaries.
Ammon Shea looks at the word “stimulus”.
Ammon Shea looks at bonuses.