The professor and the madman book

6.29  ·  2,962 ratings  ·  458 reviews
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the professor and the madman book

Thank you! Remarkably readable, this chronicle of lexicography roams from the great dictionary itself to hidden nooks in the human psyche that sometimes house the motives for murder, the sources for sanity, and the blueprint for creativity. His account is studded with odd persons and unexpected drama. To wit: When O. William Chester Minor, was incarcerated for life in an asylum for the criminally insane.
File Name: the professor and the madman
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Published 16.12.2018

Professor and the Madman Book Trailer

In when Prof. James Murray began the challenging assignment of editing the first edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, a project of unprecedented historical and cultural importance, the call went out for volunteers to supply quotations to illustrate definitions.


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Minor , a retired United States Army surgeon. Murray was a talented linguist and had other scholarly interests, and he had taught in schools and worked in banking. Faced with the enormous task of producing a comprehensive dictionary, with a quotation illustrating the uses of each meaning of each word, and with evidence for the earliest use of each, Murray had turned to an early form of crowdsourcing a word not coined until the 21st century —enlisting the help of dozens of amateur philologists as volunteer researchers.



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  1. Editorial Reviews. Review. When the editors of the Oxford English Dictionary put A New York Times Notable Book • Now a Major Motion Picture. The Professor and the Madman is an extraordinary tale of madness, genius, and .

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