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"The Professor & the Madman"

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.

Enjoy it!