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Kory Stamper: The Secret Life of Dictionaries

Town Hall

Recommended, Don’t Miss

Campion Ballroom
Sun March 25, 2018, 6 pm


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Recommended by Rich Smith

For decades, there has been a war going on between dictionaries. As David Foster Wallace points out in Authority and American Usage, the battle is between two parties: descriptivists and prescriptivists. Their battlefields lie in the introductions of dictionaries and the pages of grammar books. Descriptivists are the cool liberals who think dictionaries should function as a record of language and its inevitable changes. Prescriptivists are the grammar scolds who think words mean something, damn it, and fight to preserve their sense. In Word By Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries, lexicographer Kory Stamper mixes in some of this history with her own as she weighs in on the many word skirmishes playing out in newsrooms, English classes, and even grocery stores. ("10 items or less?" Are you fucking kidding me?)

Campion Ballroom

Seattle University campus, 901 -12th Avenue, Seattle

Event Times
This event is in the past.
  • Sun March 25, 2018, 6 pm