Yay for dictionaries! This book is funny and smart and so geeky and I loved it. I want to be Kory Stamper’s bff.
“We think of English as a fortress to be defended, but a better analogy is to think of English as a child. We love and nurture it into being, and once it gains gross motor skills, it starts going exactly where we don’t want it to go: it heads right for the goddamned electrical sockets. We dress it in fancy clothes and tell it to behave, and it comes home with its underwear on its head and wearing someone else’s socks. As English grows, it lives its own live, and this is right and healthy.”
That’s…basically an excellent example of the whole book. If that paragraph made you giggle and applaud, then read just read the book. Stamper discusses how dictionaries got their start (which I also read about in the far inferior The Professor and the Madman), what it means to work for one and how the internet and pop culture have made their mark. I couldn’t put the damn thing down.