How the Dictionary Is Made

March 17, 2017 § Leave a comment


I don’t do much writing about my day job here, but I’m particularly excited about the release this week of Word By Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries, by my good friend and colleague, Kory Stamper.

I’ve known Kory since I began working as a Merriam-Webster lexicographer almost 16 years ago. (In fact, for a long time her cubicle was in such close proximity to mine that we’d send snarky emails to each other whenever we’d be privy to the too-loud conversations about our neighbor’s medical appointments.) She is not only one of the best there is at what we do, she excels at putting into words the convoluted mental exercises that come with trying to pin down an ever-shifting language in a way that makes sense.

(Disclaimer: I’m quoted in the book a handful of times.)

You can read one excerpt of the book at Longreads and another at Slate, as well as a thoughtful review by Megan Garber in The Atlantic.


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