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Chasing the Sun: Dictionary Makers and the Dictionaries They Made

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CHASING THE SUN is an immensely readable and fascinating history of the dictionary, of the urge to set knowledge - in the case, words -in order. ... Show synopsis

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Reviews of Chasing the Sun: Dictionary Makers and the Dictionaries They Made

Overall customer rating: 3.000
Alissa

The history of dictionaries

by Alissa on Mar 21, 2009

It's unfair to be overly harsh in judging this book which in 500-some pages sets out to chronicle the history of the dictionary and lexicography in general and does exactly that. I now no more than I will likely ever need to know about dictionaries and their history. Was some of it interesting? Yes. Was some of it dry as dirt? Yes. I have read both of Simon Winchester's books on the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary: The Meaning of Everything and The Professor and the Madman and so was hoping that Chasing the Sun might have a similar flavor, but it's one thing to focus on a single dictionary (even if it is as massive as the OED) and quite another to try and chronicle the creation of every dictionary ever. The book is indexed and would prove an excellent reference for researchers seeking more information on dictionary history, (particularly those of the English language variety) and if you are obsessed with dictionaries or simply really, really want to know everything there is to know about them, the book has potential, but for recreational readers, Chasing the Sun is a dense tome containing history sprinkled here and there with humorous anecdotes, but which for this reader proved to be a slow if somewhat interesting read.

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