Get a FREE Books of the Moment  sampler!
Check Out These
21 Books You’ve Been Meaning to Read
See the List

Word by Word

Word by Word by Kory Stamper
Hardcover
Mar 14, 2017 | 320 Pages
See All Formats (3) +
  • Paperback $16.95

    Mar 06, 2018 | 336 Pages

  • Hardcover $26.95

    Mar 14, 2017 | 320 Pages

  • Ebook $12.99

    Mar 14, 2017 | 336 Pages

Buy the Audiobook Download:

Product Details

Praise

“As a writer, Kory Stamper can do anything with words: define them, split them, lump them, agglute them, and make them work for her every bit as ferociously and precisely as she works for them in her day job as a far from mild-mannered lexicographer at Merriam-Webster. You will never take a dictionary entry for granted again.” —Mary Norris, bestselling author of Between You & Me
 
“A love letter to letters themselves… A cheerful and thoughtful rebuke of the cult of the grammar scolds. Stamper [is] a wry and charming correspondent. Word by Word is, like a dictionary itself, a composite affair: It’s a memoir that is also an explanation of the work that writing a dictionary entails.” —Megan Garber, The Atlantic

“An unlikely page-turner…Stamper displays a contagious enthusiasm for words…Illuminating.” The New Yorker

“Delightful… Informed, irreverent and witty…A gloriously (occasionally even uproariously) well written book, and unsurprisingly erudite. Do read [Word by Word].” —Stevie Godson, New York Journal of Books

Table Of Contents

Preface xi

HRAFNKELL: On Falling in Love 3
BUT: On Grammar 23
IT’S: On “Grammar” 38
IRREGARDLESS: On Wrong Words 52
CORPUS: On Collecting the Bones 68
SURFBOARD: On Defining 94
PRAGMATIC: On Examples 125
TAKE: On Small Words 136
BITCH: On Bad Words 149
POSH: On Etymology and Linguistic Originalism 169
AMERICAN DREAM: On Dates 189
NUCLEAR: On Pronunciation 199
NUDE: On Correspondence 216
MARRIAGE: On Authority and the Dictionary 230
EPILOGUE: The Damnedest Thing 255

Acknowledgments 263
Notes 265
Bibliography 275
Index 281

Looking for More Great Reads?
Download our Spring Fiction Sampler Now
Back to Top