THE STORY OF THE DICTIONARY by Robert Kraske

THE STORY OF THE DICTIONARY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Kraske exhibits none of the rigor and precision required of the dictionary makers he writes about. Not only does he surround paraphrased remarks with quotation marks, and compare the OED in dictionary making to what landing on the moon (a matter of technology, and a questionable undertaking at that) was to science, but he acknowledges the Reader's Guide as his own guide in researching the book. (Come to think of it, perhaps Kraske should be commended for his honesty as we suspect that too many juvenile book authors get away with projects based on reading ""virtually all articles listed in the Reader's Guide for the past twenty-five years under two categories""). It must be acknowledged that anyone who finds the subject forbidding will surely be put at his ease by Kraske's chatty descriptions of the work of Samuel Johnson, Noah Webster, and the dedicated team that took 71 years to prepare the first edition of the OED, by his random examples of changing usage and word meanings, and by his informal glimpses behind the doors of dictionary publishers' offices where ""fierce arguments"" rage as to whether their products should be prescriptive or descriptive. Browsable, but no reference source.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1975
Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich