59 Million Keywords To Publication

Posted at 03:08am on 26th August 2008
Related topics: Reading Between the Lines

59 million keywords to publication!

Now I love words. And I guess anyone who can be bothered to read or write a blog like this one must love’em too. But fifty-nine million? Here are a few statistics defining Ammon Shea’s recently published book:

• One man
• One year
• 20 volumes of the Oxford English Dictionary perused and digested
• Printed on 21,730 pages
• Equivalent to reading one novel per day
• 59 million words A-Zyxt
• 400 pages devoted to words beginning ‘un-’
• Author owns 1000 dictionaries

Tellingly (and succinctly?) titled Reading The OED: One Man, One Year, 21,730 pages the book – so we’re told by The Daily Telegraph reviewer, Mark Sanderson – is a joyful ‘o(e)dyssey’ of words we might never, otherwise, have come across. Words like acnestis, meaning the part of your back you can’t reach to scratch. Deipnophobia, the fear of dinner parties. And Kankedort, an awkward situation.

Tell you what, I’ll scratch your acnestis if you’ll scratch mine. And we’ll avoid any kankedorts that might arise from the telling of this story around a meal table, by positively boycotting all guests (or hosts) suffering from deipnophobia.
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Related topics: Reading Between the Lines

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