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November 11, 2020 at 6:33 pm #21341Andie SmithGuest
The Story of Ain’t
America, Its Language, and the Most Controversial Dictionary Ever Published
by David Skinner
- ISBN: 9780062027467 (0062027468)
- Characters: H.L. Mencken, Eleanor Roosevelt, Dwight Macdonald, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Robert Hutchins
- Language: english
- Genres: language, history, linguistics, microhistory, biography, writing
- Author: David Skinner
- Format: hardcover, 351 pages
- Publisher: Harper
- Release date: October 9, 2012
About The Book
The Story of Ain’t by David Skinner is the captivating true chronicle of the creation of Merriam Webster’s Third New International Dictionary in 1961, the most controversial dictionary ever published.
Created by the most respected American publisher of dictionaries and supervised by the editor Philip Gove, Webster’s Third broke with tradition, adding thousands of new words and eliminating “artificial notions of correctness,” basing proper usage on how language was actually spoken. The dictionary’s revolutionary style sparked what David Foster Wallace called “the Fort Sumter of the Usage Wars.” Editors and scholars howled for Gove’s blood, calling him an enemy of clear thinking, a great relativist who was trying to sweep the English language into chaos.
Skinner’s surprising and witty account will enthrall fans of Winchester’s The Professor and the Madman and The Meaning of Everything, and The Know-It-All by A.J. Jacobs, as it explores a culture in transition and the brilliant, colorful individuals behind it.
Entertaining and erudite, The Story of Ain’t describes a great societal metamorphosis, revealing the fallout of the world wars, the rise of an educated middle class, the emergence of America as the undisputed leader of the free world, and how those forces shaped our language. Never before or since has a dictionary so embodied the cultural transformation of the United States.
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