Meaning of Everything

Winchester, Simon. The Meaning of Everything: the Story of the Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003.

I suppose since Winchester’s The Meaning of Everything serves as a follow-up to The Professor and the Madman: a Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary I should link to the review of The Professor…here.

I hate to admit this, but I didn’t care for The Meaning of Everything. Okay, while I’m being honest I’ll go for broke – I didn’t get beyond page 19. There. I said it. I was bored. As a person deeply connected to reading you would think I would be intimate with words, especially the origin of words. I mean, words form sentences and sentences form paragraphs and paragraphs form pages and pages fill books, right? And books are what it’s all about, right? No. I guess the bottom line is I don’t care about where the word came from. The word, when it stands alone, is boring. How sad is that? I need words strung together into sentences. Those sentences need to be woven together to ultimately make a story interesting. This, however, was not.

BookLust Twist: From More Book Lust in the chapter called, “Dewey Deconstructed: 400s” (p 68).

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