The new york times the word detective is a charmingly full frank and humorous account of a career dedicated to rigorous lexicographic rectitude i doubt there has ever been a better account of how a person with a capacious brain sits down with a cup of tea and a pile of cards and sets about creating authoritative definitions . The word detective a life in words from serendipity to selfie by john simpson review floccinaucinihilipilification toil and skanking in an edifying life of a lexicographer henry hitchings. The word detective a life in words from serendipity to selfie is a must read for any word nerd quiz master raconteur or writer its a book about the personal life and career of john simpson who was the editor of the oxford english dictionary oed for nearly forty years. Simpsons talents which he reveals with disarming modesty as a word sleuth and project manager led to promotions along the way he became chief editor during the oeds adventuresome transition to the internet a huge step for the staff and the dictionarys overseer and funder the university of oxford press. In this case its john simpsons the word detective searching for the meaning of it all at the oxford english dictionary basic books 2016 basic books the publisher kindly sent me a copy for review late last year
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