Tue, November 18, 2008 7:30 P.M.
Parkway Central Library
Editor-at-large of the Oxford English Dictionary and its first-ever North American editor, Jesse Sheidlower is an expert in linguistics and lexicography, particularly with regard to slang and the changing usage of words in the United States. Author of The F- Word, a historical glossary of perhaps the most versatile curse word in the English language, Sheidlower’s writing often appears in Slate, the New York Times, and Harper’s.
Barbara Wallraff, a senior editor and the “Word Court” and “Word Fugitives” columnist for the Atlantic, is a popular authority in the world of language commentary. A member of the American Heritage Dictionary Usage Panel and the Modern Language Association, Wallraff is a regular voice on National Public Radio’s Fresh Air and All Things Considered, and was once commissioned by Morning Edition to copyedit the U.S. Constitution. She is the author of Word Fugitives: Your Own Words and the bestseller Word Court.
The word lover’s Mount Everest, the 137-pound Oxford English Dictionary has enthralled logophiles since it was first published 80 years ago. Tireless, word-obsessed, and more than slightly masochistic, Reading the OEDauthor Ammon Shea spent a year ingesting the great book(s). With a documentarian’s precise eye and an ardent sense of wonder, Shea recounts his hair-pulling, eye-crossing trip from cover-to-cover of the behemoth of all dictionaries—and the most obscure, hilarious, and delightful gems he found along the way.