Wall Street Journal on Story of Ain’t

James Kelly of Vanity Fair wrote a lovely review: “Mr. Skinner does a fine job detailing the controversy that greeted Webster’s Third, but he is even stronger when describing the internal politics at Merriam and the mechanics of revising a dictionary. (Editors spent a decade perusing everything from newspapers to food containers to owner’s manuals for new words and usages, using only black or red pencils and never reading for more than two hours at a stretch, lest attention lag.) Anyone contemplating a dictionary-making career will read this book and think about switching to something less arduous, like, say, coal mining.”

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