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The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary (1998)

de Simon Winchester

Outros autores: Veja a seção outros autores.

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12,112296534 (3.81)467
Biography & Autobiography. History. Language Arts. Nonfiction. HTML:

A New York Times Notable Book

The Professor and the Madman is an extraordinary tale of madness, genius, and the incredible obsessions of two remarkable men that led to the making of the Oxford English Dictionary??and literary history.

The making of the OED was one of the most ambitious projects ever undertaken. As definitions were collected, the overseeing committee, led by Professor James Murray, was stunned to discover that one man, Dr. W. C. Minor, had submitted more than ten thousand. But their surprise would pale in comparison to what they were about to discover when the committee insisted on honoring him. For Dr. Minor, an American Civil War veteran, was also an inmate at an asylum for the criminally insane.

Masterfully researched and eloquently written, The Professor and the Madman "is the linguistic detective story of the decade." (William Safire, New York Times Magazine)

This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.… (mais)

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    PuddinTame: Two accounts of the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary. The Meaning of Everything is a history of how the dictionary was created. The Professor and the Madman is focussed on a peculiar story: a detailed acccount of the man who contributed the most entries to the Oxford English Dictionary, while living in the Broadmoor Asylum (near Crawthorne) for the Criminally Insane.… (mais)
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In the nineteenth century, two distinguished clever men become friends. But they come from very different backgrounds, one is a brilliant academic, the other is a madman and murderer. In spite of this they work together on one of the greatest works in the English language. An intriguing tale about the compilation of the Oxford English Dictionary.
  AlbertLeonhardGieg | Nov 23, 2022 |
Here, as so consistently throughout, Winchester finds exactly the right tool to frame the scene.
adicionado por John_Vaughan | editarPowells, Dave Weich (Oct 1, 2001)
 

» Adicionar outros autores (22 possíveis)

Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Winchester, Simonautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Hood, PhilipIlustradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Out, PeterTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Pracher, RickDesigner da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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[Preface Popular myth has it that one of the most remarkable conversations in modern literary history took place on a cool and misty late autumn in 1896, in the small village of Crowthorne in the county of Berkshire.
The word (murder) has not been found in any Teut. lang. but Eng. and Gothic, but that it existed in continental WGer. is evident, as it is the source of OF. murdre, murtre (md. F. meurtre) and of med. L. mordrum, murdrum, and OHG.
[Postscript] And why this book is offered as a small testament to the late George Merrett of Wiltshire and Lambeth, without whose untimely death these events would never have unfolded and this tale could never have been told.
[Author's Note] But she won, and a grandfather I never met made a thousand guineas, all because of a word that briefly took his fancy.
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One word --and only one word-- was ever actually lost: bondmaid, which appears in Johnson's dictionary, was actually lost by Murray and was found, a stray without a home, long after the fascicle Battentlie - Bozzom had been published. It, and tens of thousands of words that had evolved or appeared during the forty-four years spent assembling the fascicles and their [twelve] parent volumes, appeared in a supplement, which came out in 1933. Four further supplements appeared between 1972 and 1986. In 1989, using the new abilities of the computer, Oxford University Press issued its fully integrated second edition, incorporating all the changes and additions of the supplements in twenty rather more slender volumes. [220]
Defining words properly is a fine and peculiar craft. There are rules—a word (to take a noun as an example) must first be defined according to the class of things to which it belongs (mammal, quadruped), and then differentiated from other members of that class (bovine, female). There must be no words in the definition that are more complicated or less likely to be known than the word being defined. The definition must say what something is, and not what it is not. If there is a range of meanings of any one word—cow having a broad range of meanings, cower having essentially only one—then they must be stated. And all the words in the definition must be found elsewhere in the dictionary—a reader must never happen upon a word in the dictionary that he or she cannot discover elsewhere in it. If the definer contrives to follow all these rules, stirs into the mix an ever-pressing need for concision and elegance—and if he or she is true to the task, a proper definition will probably result.
He would index and collect and collate words and sentences from each of the books, until his prison desk was heavy with the quires of paper, each one containing a master-list of the indexed words from his eclectic, very valuable and much valued little gem of a library.... He had made a key, a Victorian word-Rolodex, a dictionary-within-a-dictionary, and instantly available.
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UK title: The Surgeon of Crowthorne
US title: The Professor and the Madman
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Biography & Autobiography. History. Language Arts. Nonfiction. HTML:

A New York Times Notable Book

The Professor and the Madman is an extraordinary tale of madness, genius, and the incredible obsessions of two remarkable men that led to the making of the Oxford English Dictionary??and literary history.

The making of the OED was one of the most ambitious projects ever undertaken. As definitions were collected, the overseeing committee, led by Professor James Murray, was stunned to discover that one man, Dr. W. C. Minor, had submitted more than ten thousand. But their surprise would pale in comparison to what they were about to discover when the committee insisted on honoring him. For Dr. Minor, an American Civil War veteran, was also an inmate at an asylum for the criminally insane.

Masterfully researched and eloquently written, The Professor and the Madman "is the linguistic detective story of the decade." (William Safire, New York Times Magazine)

This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.

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