Ammon Shea

Reading the OED: One Man, One Year, 21,730 Pages by Ammon Shea is an absolute delight. Shea describes his experience of spending a year reading the 20 volumes of the Oxford English Dictionary. He begins each chapter with a narrative of his experience and then selects about half a dozen words from each letter of the alphabet, defining and commenting on its meanings and usage. Some of the examples he provides are quirky; many are obscure; others are outright hilarious. Shea describes the OED as “the greatest story ever told.”

The pages of his foray into the OED are peppered with wit and sarcasm. His enthusiasm for the task is contagious, conveying genuine fleshment (the sense of excitement that comes from initial success) as he invites us to join him in conjubulation (being jubilant or rejoicing with another person). I encourage you to dispel your addubitation (suggestion of doubt) and delve into Shea’s Reading the OED. I assure you it will happify you immensely (to make happy).


AuthorTamara Agha-Jaffar
CategoriesBook Review