Posted by Bruce Kahl on July 10, 2001
I am sure most of you fellow wordsmyths have read this already but if not then please get it now.
The full title is "The Professor & the Madman: Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary" by Simon Winchester.
When the creators of the OED put out a call to "men of letters" for contributions, one of the major contributors was a very mad American Army surgeon who was a patient in the Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum.
Its an easy read about 250 pages or so and the style of writing and choice of words is like feasting at a banquet with all the trimmings and topped off with a sundae with a cherry on top.