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Dictionary days : a defining passion

Author: Ilan Stavans
Publisher: Saint Paul, Minn. : Graywolf Press, ©2005.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
"A dictionary, despite its heroic effort to pin down language, is destined for failure the moment a single word is printed; for language, with its eternal mutations, is forever uncontainable. In Dictionary Days, essayist Ilan Stavans explores our very human need to "seize upon the meaning of a word." Owner of hundreds of dictionaries, he follows a zigzagging history of lexicography across many languages, including  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Stavans, Ilan.
Dictionary days.
Saint Paul, Minn. : Graywolf Press, ©2005
(OCoLC)647406791
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Ilan Stavans
ISBN: 1555974198 9781555974190
OCLC Number: 58750112
Description: 228 pages ; 19 cm
Contents: Heaven --
Sleeping with my OED --
Ink, Inc. --
No-Kim-Bah --
Pride and prejudice --
Fictionary : or, How I learned to write --
The invention of love --
The zebra and the swear word --
Gladys --
In the land of lost words --
Keeping my name --
Dr. Johnson's visit --
The impossible.
Responsibility: Ilan Stavans.
More information:

Abstract:

"A dictionary, despite its heroic effort to pin down language, is destined for failure the moment a single word is printed; for language, with its eternal mutations, is forever uncontainable. In Dictionary Days, essayist Ilan Stavans explores our very human need to "seize upon the meaning of a word." Owner of hundreds of dictionaries, he follows a zigzagging history of lexicography across many languages, including English, French, Spanish, German, Arabic, Hebrew, Latin, and Cyrillic. Throughout his journey, Stavans spots strange meaning inconsistencies, uncovers unusual origins, and shares extraordinary and often hilarious anecdotes."--Jacket.

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